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Pushing the frontier of regulatory economics research to address the questions and issues raised by the rise of large digital platforms.

Digital markets are expanding and evolving in ways that present myriad new opportunities and profound challenges for markets and society. The growth of the digital economy has, to date, outpaced economists’ ability to understand these markets or conduct the research necessary to accurately diagnose market ills and to formulate appropriate responses. Yet policymakers are in the early stages of a profound shift in regulatory posture towards digital markets. Lack of theoretical and empirical understanding in economics means they are not appropriately equipped with tools necessary to effectively regulate these markets and platforms.

The Digital Economy Project (DEP) at the Tobin Center for Economic Policy at Yale University seeks to accelerate economic understanding of digital markets and policy development to meet the moment of present and future regulation. It further brings economic insights, policy solutions, and legal expertise directly to policymakers and key leverage points in the broader policy arena through four core components:

Multi-university research initiative. The core of this effort is research into key aspects of digital platforms, much of which is carried out at Yale and the consortium of leading economists we’ve assembled. A key goal is the creation of new knowledge on how to better regulate digital markets for social welfare and economic growth/prosperity.

Applied policy engagement. The Yale-led team uses knowledge generated to develop new policy ideas, critique existing ones, and write policy papers that enable widespread dissemination of that analysis. In addition, the team trains students in class, in a legal clinic, and through legal writing presented directly to enforcers.

Education & training. Yale seeks to educate and train a new generation of students and academics to help make and implement policy that addresses the pressing societal concerns raised by the increasing power of dominant tech firms and the related misuse of power by firms operating throughout the digital economy.

Approach. To maximize this effort, the team at Yale has developed a multi-program coordinated engagement network among its faculty, affiliated experts, students, leading academic economists, advocates, and policymakers.

Featured Research

Policy Discussion Papers:  A collaborative effort of experts in economics and regulation in the United States, the UK, and the European Union, who have studied, and are committed to the improvement of, competition in digital markets.


Yale’s Tobin Center Assembles Leading Economists to Tackle Digital Market Regulation
Digital Conference _ Jean Tirole
Mara Lavitt

Leadership Team