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 Dec 24 12:05:38 2020

  • Due to the coronavirus, the final exam is in take-home format plus a short interview. Send me email or contact me on Teams in the Economics of Information Networks channel if you want to consult about grading or the assignments.

    1. Hand in the homework. A full list of homework is now available, separate from the lectures. Send me email, or contact me on Teams, if you do not understand a problem.
    2. By December 29, choose a research topic related to the economics of information networks. Think of this as if you were going to use it to apply to the graduate program with this topic. I suggest you propose several topics and indicate your preferences. Send me email to submit. You may write in the body of the email, or submit a Word document or PDF as an attachment.
    3. Make an appointment to discuss your topic by Teams or Zoom. This will take about 10 minutes.
    4. Based on the discussion write a research proposal for your topic of about 1-2 A4 pages, and submit it by January 15. Your proposal should explain
      • why it interests you,
      • what scientific, policy, or business benefits flow from solving the research problem
      • at least one specific research question or hypothesis
      • necessary data and means of collection
      • method of analysis
      • expected or hoped-for results.

    Remember, this is of the scale of the proposal you submitted to apply for the graduate program.

Fri Dec 18 10:57:58 2020

  • Lecture 5 Part 2 is now available as slides and video.

Thu Dec 17 15:56:27 2020

  • Lecture 5 Part 1 is now available as slides and video.

Thu Dec 10 19:01:58 2020

  • Lecture 4, Part 2 is now available as slides and video.

Thu Dec 10 14:42:48 2020

  • Lecture 4, Part 1 is now available as slides and video.

Thu Dec 10 13:06:02 2020

  • An improved version of the slides has been uploaded (with slide 13 completed).

Thu Dec 10 12:06:03 2020

  • Lecture 4, Part 1 is now available as slides. Video software is still processing, and will be uploaded when done.

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

  • Lecture 3, Part 1 is now available as slides and video.

Wed Dec 2 23:49:33 2020

  • Lecture 3, Part 1 is now available as slides. Video is coming soon.

Wed Dec 2 21:12:20 2020

  • It looks like I failed to upload Lecture 2, Part 2. Here's the video and slides.

Thu Nov 19 15:34:41 2020

  • Lecture 2, Part 1 is now available as video (including the slides) and slides (same as earlier).

Thu Nov 19 12:48:03 2020

  • Part 1 of the lecture notes and video recordings of the lecturer part 1a and part 1b have been uploaded while software processes combined slides and video.

Thu Nov 12 15:26:11 2020

  • Part 2 of the lecture notes and audio recording (53m57s) on market graphs, network externalities, Metcalfe's Law, and logistic growth with network externalites has beem posted.
  • The previous news was updated with the duration of the audio recording.

Thu Nov 12 12:51:52 2020

  • The lecture notes and audio recording (52m25s) for the introduction part of this lecture have been posted. A second part will be posted shortly. Two videos containing the same material are still being processed by editing software, and will be posted tonight.


  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 3E401 53-5175

The first mail from a previously unknown source often gets buried and may take many days to notice.

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. 01CN901
Day/Time Thursday, 3rd & 4th (12:15--15:00)
Room 3C201
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 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