Stanford University

RESEARCH FOCUS AREA

Measuring the Digital Economy

Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, has long been considered the benchmark for economic well-being. Yet in a rapidly changing digital economy, GDP has lost its relevance as it fails to consider new and emerging business models, such as platform-based companies.

The Stanford Digital Economy Lab is building new metrics for measuring changes in consumer well-being that capture the value of currently unmeasured (and often free) digital goods and services. Our evolved index of digital goods and traditional goods, the GDP-B Index, will be a comprehensive measure of economic output that allows decision-makers to manage the economy more effectively.  

Stock market graph

How should we measure the digital economy?


GDP measures what people pay for goods and services but what about digital goods and services that are offered for free? Erik Brynjolfsson and Avinash Collis propose GDP-B, a new way to measure the digital economy.

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RESEARCH FOCUS AREA

Digital Platforms

Digital technologies are allowing companies to spawn new business and economic value in ways unthinkable just a decade ago. Businesses are reproducing digital goods and services at near-zero marginal cost and transmitting them instantaneously across the globe.

These technological advancements have virtually eliminated constraints on business and competition while creating opportunities for winner-take-most markets. At the same time, digital and intelligent technologies are vastly reducing search and transaction costs while improving the matching of even traditional goods and services.

Our research examines how these new business models operate and how they could effect society, business, and the economy.

The EU Digital Markets Act:
Will it shake up big tech?


Three Stanford Digital Fellows discuss the EU Digital Markets Act, legislation that seeks to reign in power of big tech companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google.

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RESEARCH FOCUS AREA

Economic and Productivity Impacts of COVID-19

In a short span of time, the COVID-19 pandemic drastically disrupted the way we live and work—and will have profound effects on the economy and productivity for years to come.

Our research team is examining how businesses and workers are adapting to measures, such as lockdowns and remote working, brought on by the pandemic. We offer insights, models, and analysis to help business leaders, lawmakers, and the public solve challenges posed by COVID-19.


“COVID-19 is the biggest shock to the workplace since World War II.”

Erik Brynjolfsson

Director, Stanford Digital Economy Lab


What will it take to rebuild after COVID?


Daron Acemoglu stopped by (virtually) to join us for our spring Seminar Series. The MIT economist talked with Erik Brynjolfsson about what institutions will need to do to thrive in a post-COVID world.

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RESEARCH FOCUS AREA

Data-Driven Decision Making and Management Practices

In this era of digital transformation, data is arguably the most vital asset in business—it has the power to generate immense value both consumers and producers of goods and services. Our research seeks to understand how the diffusion of new technologies—such as AI, machine learning, and robotics—is transforming business practices and impact the workforce.

Our research team has access to large data sets, including US Census Data, and has the ability to add questions to the Management and Organizational Practices (MOPS) survey, which includes 50,000 manufacturers in the United States.

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RESEARCH FOCUS AREA

AI & the Future of Work

What will the future of work look like?

AI and other digital technologies have the potential to radically transform work, including the displacement of workers, the creation of new types of organizations, and changes in productivity and performance.

Our research seeks to understand the evolution of the global workforce in a rapidly changing digital economy. We also examine the effects of automation and augmentation of the workforce, as well as the impact that AI and robotics will have on employment, wages, and inequality.

Woman thinking

AI & Future of Work Resources


For policymakers and researchers: A list of papers, articles, and videos focused on how artificial intelligence and other digital technologies are impacting the future of work as we know it.

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Our research in action

Danielle Li of MIT Sloan School of Management joins Erik Brynjolfsson to discuss Hiring as Exploration. The research project highlights the value of incorporating exploration in developing decision-making hiring algorithms.

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