The e-Economy: what’s new ?

Internet made « tangible » for the public mutations that have been occurring for decades: the event of a new system of growth based on both information and innovation. While it would be naive to consider the Internet as the main driver of a « New Economy » in the process of substituting the former, it is interesting to recognize that the Internet is the centerpiece of the phenomena symptomatic of the new modes of functioning and organization of our economy. First, to favor innovation and to reply to the quest for mass-customization, the supply side of the economy is increasingly organized in reconfigurable and decentralized networks composed of independent basic bricks with standardized interfaces. Second, e-Commerce has led to the reorganization of numerous industries and markets. Third, new business models reorganize the relationships between the supply side and the demand side by innovatively mixing market and non-market logic, free and paid for services. This leads us to underline the importance of the major coordination issues raised by the « New Economy », in the context of globalization which obliges us to invent new ways to combine public and private regulation. – Summary AFRI-2001