Economics of Information Networks

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This is the home page for Economics of Information Networks in the Master Program of Service Engineering.

Please, please, please send me email if there are any problems with any materials or links posted here.


Watch this space for more updates!

  • See Previous Updates for older news.
  • Announcements will be posted here and to Microsoft Teams in the Economics of Information Networks team.
  • This page has not been properly updated. In particular, ignore all schedule and assignment information outside of this News section.
  • The Manaba course page and the Teams team just point to this course home page. I am available for video consultation via Teams (make appointment by email or Teams message).

Thu Nov 18 03:14:00 2021

Note: In the lecture videos and the slides, all parts are dated 2020, and parts 3 and 4 are labeled "Lecture 3". That's because I'm recycling the videos from last year. But if you search on Microsoft Stream, they are labeled Lecture 2, Parts 1-4.

As last week, I will be available in the Teams team for the course during the scheduled hours, 12:15 to 15:00. I should be monitoring most of the time, but it you don't get a response in a few seconds, leave a message in the meeting chat and I'll get back to you fairly soon.

  • Lecture 2, Part 1 is now available as slides and video (34m27s). It treats network externalities which are asymmetric, and the dynamic evolution of markets with changing technology.
  • Lecture 2, Part 2 is now available as slides and video (40m26s). It treats network flows, optimization, and the Braess Paradox (a dynamic version of the Prisoner's Dilemma in which the Nash equilibrium induces socially optimal allocation of traffic to two possible routes, but adding capacity to the network results in the worst possible outcome in which all traffic uses one route.
  • Lecture 2, Part 3 is now available as slides and video (21m07s). It describes a number of networks that are really used in daily life and in academic research. Where relevant, it explains some of the economics associated with each network.
  • Lecture 2, Part 4 is now available as slides and video (27m41s). It describes a number of basic network structures, and some quantitative measure that attach to them.
  • I have made a complete list of homeworks available with due dates. The later lectures of assignments and due dates are probably late! They will move forward in time. Others may be added or substituted.

Thu Nov 10 15:26:11 2021

  • Part 1 of the lecture notes and audio recording (52m25s) for the Introduction to these lectures are available.
  • Part 2 of the lecture notes and audio recording (53m57s) on market graphs, network externalities, Metcalfe's Law, and logistic growth with network externalites are available.
  • For reasons I don't understand, graphics are displayed in the wrong place. I'll try to fix them this weekend.


  1. News ... announcements. Read this often!
  2. Contents ... this section.
  3. Course Goals ... general description of this course.
  4. About Me ... professor contacts.
  5. About This Course ... administrative information.
  6. Links to Lecture Notes ... materials presented in lecture.
  7. Links to Homework Assignments ... past and future assignments.
  8. Previous Updates ... previously posted news.

Course Goals

This is a first course in the economic analysis of information networks for master's students in the Service Engineering Degree Program. It may also be of interest to students in the Policy and Planning Science Degree Program, as well as students of computer science and management of technology. This is not a technical course in information networks. (Several are offered from different points of view in the Department of Policy and Planning Science as well as several other departments.) The focus is on (1) understanding the relationship between behavior of individual decision-makers and that of the networks they participate in, (2) using that theory to make inferences about motivation and predictions of future behavior, and (3) determining how networks can provide economic value-added (and how much value).

Students passing this course are expected to be able to diagram networks, explain the relationships among several networks involving the same actors or links, and assess their economic or business value.

The previously announced syllabi are available from the University's KDB site, and copies are provided here. Note: The actual content and order of presentation has changed in the process of preparation.

See Links to Lecture Notes and Links to Homework Assignments for schedule information.

About Me

Stephen Turnbull, Associate Professor
Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering
  Room Phone
Office 3F1234 53-5091
Lab 3F1223 no phone
Home Page

Office hours: Mon 11:00-12:00 or Thu 2d period at 3E401, or by appt.

Graduate students are welcome to drop in any time, but I reserve the right to say "not now" outside of scheduled office hours. See my schedule page for more information about where to find me when.

About This Course

サービスエンジニーリング学位プログラム / Service Engineering Degree Program
情報ネットワークの経済学 / Economics of Information Networks
Catalog No. 0AL0200 / 01CN901
Day/Time Thursday, 3rd & 4th (12:15--15:00)
Room Teams
Home Page
Required text

David Easley and Jon Kleinberg, Networks, Crowds, and Markets

Online as HTML: You can also download PDF from that site.

This is one of the classic texts of this century. Buy it!

Recommended text

Oz Shy [2001], The Economics of Network Industries

Probably cheaper and faster at

Optional texts

Hal Varian and Carl Shapiro [1997], Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy

A "business classic". Requires no economics or math.

Matthew Jackson, Social and Economic Networks

Mathematical treatment. (If you're thinking about a Ph.D....)

Robert Axelrod, The Complexity of Cooperation

Mostly about cooperation, but networks appear in some chapters.

Lawrence Lessig, Code 2.0

How network software can shape our society in ways we wouldn't imagine. A lawyer's viewpoint. Available in a Japanese translation.

Fernando Vega-Redondo, Complex Social Networks

Mathematical treatment. Level similar to Jackson, but more specialized. (If you're thinking about a Ph.D....)

Anna Nagurny, Network Economics

Mathematical economics treatment. (If you're thinking about a Ph.D....)

Useful background texts

F. William Lawvere and Stephen H. Schnauel, Conceptual Mathematics: A first introduction to categories, 2d ed.

(If you're thinking about a Ph.D. in mathematical network theory.)

Previous Updates

Thu Dec 24 12:05:38 2020

Fri Dec 18 10:57:58 2020

Thu Dec 17 15:56:27 2020

Thu Dec 10 19:01:58 2020

Thu Dec 10 14:42:48 2020

Thu Dec 10 13:06:02 2020

Thu Dec 10 12:06:03 2020

Fri Dec 4 10:37:07 2020

-Lecture 3, Part 3 is now available as slides and video.

Thu Dec 3 23:05:07 2020

-Lecture 3, Part 2 is now available as slides and video.

Thu Dec 3 10:59:02 2020

Wed Dec 2 23:49:33 2020

Wed Dec 2 21:12:20 2020

Thu Nov 19 15:34:41 2020

Thu Nov 19 12:48:03 2020

Thu Nov 12 15:26:11 2020

Thu Nov 12 12:51:52 2020

Thu Nov 14 02:17:41 2019

Thu Nov 15 16:06:15 2018

Thu Nov 15 11:44:59 2018

Thu Nov 15 03:39:36 2018

Wed Nov 7 18:35:38 2018

Thu Nov 15 16:06:15 2018

Thu Nov 15 11:44:59 2018

Thu Nov 15 03:39:36 2018

Wed Nov 7 18:35:38 2018

Tue Dec 20 12:25:40 2017

Tue Dec 19 23:25:40 2017

Mon Dec 18 23:43:54 2017

Thu Dec 14 11:40:01 2017

Mon Dec 11 18:08:12 2017

Mon Dec 11 00:34:37 2017

Thu Nov 16 16:19:30 2017

Thu Nov 9 15:48:17 2017

Wed Nov 8 21:42:12 2017

Thu Dec 15 15:39:57 2016

Tue Dec 6 15:30:11 2016

Thu Nov 24 01:34:45 2016

Thu Nov 12 16:01:55 2015

Thu Nov 12 12:15:52 2015

Wed Nov 11 22:57:32 2015

Fri Oct 31 08:07:45 2014

Fri Oct 10 08:00:28 2014

Fri Oct 3 03:19:35 2014

Thu Oct 2 21:37:38 2014