The Hoover Institution Technology, Economics, and Governance Working Paper Series allows authors to distribute research for discussion and comment among other researchers. Working papers reflect the views of the authors and not the views of the Hoover Institution.

The Technology, Economics, and Governance Working Group seeks to understand the drivers and dynamics of technological innovation in the 21st century, assess the opportunities and risks that breakthrough technologies are creating, and develop governance approaches that maximize the benefits and mitigate the risks for the nation and the world. Facts and objective analysis are the keys to the approach. As described in more detail in this statement of purpose, the Working Group conducts original research, brings together private sector and public sector leaders, and develops policy recommendations for decision-makers at all levels of government.

New technologies—from Internet advances to artificial intelligence to synthetic biology and many more—are transforming the global economy and connecting us in ways unimaginable only a few years ago. Emerging technologies are offering unmatched opportunities to alleviate poverty, raise economic growth, treat disease, and improve lives all over the world. But these technologies are also fueling new geopolitical competition and they are posing unprecedented governance challenges to domestic political institutions.

Policymakers today are grappling with a host of difficult questions. Congressional proposals are increasingly calling for ways to reduce the power of large tech firms, from breaking them up to regulating them or taxing them. Yet it is not evident that any of these solutions will solve the problems the nation confronts with emerging technologies, and many of these approaches could hurt the nation by hobbling American innovation. Is the problem monopoly power, which leads to higher prices, or is it the power to exclude certain individuals or firms from using the platforms? How would break-ups take place, and would they depend on the market and the product? Are there better ways to proceed that do not throw out the scale advantages and greater global interconnectedness?

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