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Manufacturing is still critical to the economy United States. Clyde Prestowitz, says it's time to start realizing the positive spillovers that manufacturing creates... Read more  

Events & Activities

Stephen Olson at Chinese Development Institute Conference


 Clyde Prestowitz giving presentation to CDI...


Steve Olson teaching trade negotiations at the Mekong Institute...


Stephen Olson to speak at upcoming workshop organized by the International Institute for Trade and Development on 

"Economics of GMS Agricultural trade in goods and services towards the world market"

Chiangmai, Thailand Sep 8-12.

The “New IP” and the Internet of Things

The goal of the project is to study the broad ecosystem tied to cloud computing and software defined infrastructure, including clouds, containers, software defined data centers and networking as well as software defined computing, data analysis and the tools to analyze data such as Hadoop and MapReduce, and the Internet of Things.

The project has financial support from Brocade Communications, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The project started over the summer and is initially focused on the US. The plan is to repeat the US effort with firms from selected countries in Europe and Asia.

THe Economic of How Software is Eating the World

Open Networking Summit 2017

April 3-6, 2017 - Santa Clara Convention Center

Robert B. Cohen, Ph.D
Senior Fellow, Economic Strategy Institute

Click here to download the full presentation

This presentation makes five points:

1. Software innovations have become central to business operations. obtaining high performance software, such as Open Source Software, is nearly zero if a firm uses an online exchange such as GitHub and has access to a permissive license. This speeds up software development and reduces its cost because firms can often avoid paying licensing costs.

2. Software innovations are employed in such a wide range of industries that software should be a General-Purpose Technology.

3. Software behaves unlike other products. It is part of a continuing development process with developers adding code as needed. This ongoing process can be seen in new Internet-related software, such as Linux, Open Source, and Docker/containers.

4. The time it takes to complete software innovations is dropping sharply. 

5. Businesses take swift advantage of software innovations


The Move to SDI and Networks | @CloudExpo

Originally posted on Cloudexpo

How the Move to Software-Defined Infrastructure and Networks, the New IP, Is Changing the Economy

In his session at Cloud Expo, Robert Cohen, an economist and senior fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute, will provide economic scenarios that describe how the rapid adoption of software-defined everything including cloud services, SDDC and open networking will change GDP, industry growth, productivity and jobs. This session will also include a drill down for several industries such as finance, social media, cloud service providers and pharmaceuticals.

Read more ...

The New IP Economy: Software Innovation drives the Economy’s Evolution to Software-Defined Infrastructure

Draft Report prepared for Brocade Communications and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and distributed to the OECD Initiative on Digital Data Innovation

Robert B. Cohen, Senior Fellow, Economic Strategy Institute, May 23, 2016


This review analyzes enterprises’ and service providers’ spending in the New IP economy. If focuses on the spending required to create cloud services for internal use in the enterprise and to offer cloud services, in the case cloud service providers and telcos. The review is based on our previous study1 of the demand for cloud services. Here, we examine the software, services, servers and other inputs needed to develop cloud services within the firm or to purchase them from external cloud service providers, both cloud service providers such as Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and Google, as well as telcos that will offer cloud services to their customers.

Click here to download the full report as PDF


Cloud Services will Expand US GDP, Jobs and Tech Spending

Enterprise Spending on Cloud Services will Expand US GDP, Jobs and Tech Spending. A New Forecast Predicts the US Economy will gain nearly 3 Trillion Dollars in GDP and 8 Million new Jobs from 2015 to 2025.

Robert B. Cohen, PhD, Senior Fellow, Economic Strategy Institute

This forecast contends that the US economy will obtain dramatic benefits from enterprise spending on cloud services (cloud computing, data analysis and the Internet of Things). It will contribute $1.7 trillion in new spending, add 3 trillion to GDP and create 8 million jobs for the US economy by 2025. This would add about 1.5% per year to GDP and about 0.5% per year to employment growth. This would boost US economic growth to a much faster-paced expansion than some forecasters are predicting.

As a consequence of this spending, there would be a significant shift to a cloud-services driven, New-IP based economy, a software-defined, highly interoperable economy.3 In this economy, software becomes the central focus of economic activity, initially because of dramatic changes in infrastructure.

Complementing this shift are: 1) a rapid rise in the demand for high-speed connectivity; and 2) greater automation of complex jobs, opening opportunities for those with basic knowledge to master positions that once required advanced degrees.

Click here to download the full report as PDF


ESI Senior Fellow Robert Cohen to speak at IoT Slam '16


Robert CohenUsing several case studies and quantitative analysis, this talk offers examples of how businesses are using IoT to improve their performance and optimize digital operations. It also explores how moving to IoT pushes firms to become more involved with analytics for big data lakes and delivering software upgrades through using enhanced workflows, such as DevOps and Continuous Service Delivery (like Netflix and Amazon). The talk also explores how much industries such as finance, healthcare, aircraft and autos plan to invest in IoT over the next decade. It describes what this is likely to mean for revenues, economic growth, labor productivity and jobs.

For more info visit: IoT Slam 2016 session or the conference home page.


The Internet of Things, Productivity and employment

Robert B. Cohen, PhD
Director, Project on the Economics and Business Impacts of the New IP and Internet of Things

Economic Strategy Institute 

(click here to download presentation as a PDF)

Click here or on image to start the presentation. Use the left/right arrows to navigate the slides


Cross-Skilling Jobs as Part of New Organizational Structures Linked to the Emergence of Software-Defined Infrastructure

By Dr. Robert B. Cohen, Senior Fellow, Economic Strategy Institute, November 9, 2015

(click here to download PDF)

Companies are overwhelmed by the number of transactions they must manage and the constant demand for new applications and services due to the glut of mobile communications and a rapid rise in data flows. To respond, some firms have developed rapid action teams to make their firms more productive and responsive.

This appears to permit such firms not only to derive important advantages from the new software-defined infrastructure that supports accelerating product and service development but also to create work teams or groups that meld skills that had formerly been isolated to perform specific tasks. So these firms are terminating jobs such as software developers or quality assurance employees. The new positions they are filling in teams or squads have superseded the old occupations. The new occupational designation for these employees is not clear, nor are the tasks clearly defined. Team and squad members may be called platform team engineers but this is not true of all cases where such positions exist.

These changes in the workforce are part of an experiment in agility that has begun over the past five years. As the use of virtualized infrastructure with software defined networking, cloud computing and containers becomes more widespread, it is providing firms with a chance not only to speed the creation of new products and services, but also to emphasize creativity and teamwork above task work.

Read more ...

The Economic and Business Impact of the New IP: Initial Findings

Robert B. Cohen, Senior Fellow, Economic Strategy Institute

(click here to download PDF)

The impact of the New IP and the Internet of Things on US firms and the US economy will be substantial. Initial conclusions from this analysis suggest that New IP technologies, such as virtualization, software defined data centers, cloud computing and containers, and the Internet of Things have become mission-critical for many enterprises. Firms in sectors such as finance, autos, aviation, computing, semiconductors, and media, are building significant core business operations on these technologies. In the next few years, quite a number, if not a majority, of firms in other industries such as healthcare and pharmaceuticals as well as government will begin to leverage these technologies. As a consequence, corporate profits and revenue growth are beginning to depend on agile and open computing, data and networking infrastructure. US economic growth should also benefit.

Initial discussions indicate that firms are likely to take the following steps to implement these technologies:

Read more ...

The Economic and Business Impact of the “New IP” and the Internet of Things: A US and Global Forecast 2015 to 2025

An Outline of the Project
Dr. Robert Cohen, Fellow, Economic Strategy Institute, Project Director

(click here to download PDF)

  1. This study explores the economic impact of the “New IP” – the broad ecosystem linked to cloud computing and software defined infrastructure for computing, data storage and networking that includes containers, tools for data analysis such as Hadoop and MapReduce, data lakes and data analytics – as well as the impact of the Internet of Things.
  2. It will forecast enterprises’’ use of the New IP including cloud infrastructure technologies, the Internet of Things and related technologies such as 5G wireless for the next 10 years. It will quantify investment, productivity and workforce impacts.
  3. The study will define the likely impact of the “New IP” and Internet of things and related changes in infrastructure technologies on the US and other economies through 2025. We will also evaluate the impact these innovations will have on jobs.
  4. A related purpose is to use this effort to obtain a better understanding of how entrepreneurs innovate in the new digital economy using case studies and quantitative analysis. We plan to highlight the connection between innovation and jobs.
Read more ...

The Economic and Business Impacts of the New IP

Summary of Early Findings

Robert B. Cohen, Senior Fellow, Economic Strategy Institute, December 4, 2015

Click here to download as a PDF

1. Were you surprised by the 2.2 % figure for US productivity growth in the third quarter and the 3.3% figure for US productivity for the second quarter?

Yes? A number of economists – including Google’s Hal Varian in the WSJ – have argued that government statistics are not measuring the “Silicon Valley” effect on the economy correctly.

  • Our estimates of the New IP’s impact on the economy suggest that the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis is probably undercounting the impact of software on the economy. New business software is a large part of spending on the New IP. BEA assumes that because prices of packaged software (e.g., Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, etc.) have remained stable, the same is true of prices for software purchased by enterprises that can be modified prior to or after it is deployed. But that’s not true.
  • We have estimated that the prices many Fortune 50 companies are paying for software defined infrastructure and tools – all part of the New IP -- are dropping by about 20% to 30% annually.
  • So, annual US productivity estimates should be about 0.4% to 0.8% higher than estimated and US economic growth is probably undercounted by about 0.4% to 0.8%.
  • The recent upswing in US productivity probably reflects this change. In the early 2000s, economists recognized that productivity was increasing faster than was expected. Later analysis at the Federal Reserve Board and elsewhere found that this was due to an inability to measure the contribution of information technology to the economy.
Read more ...

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The Betrayal of American Prosperity.

The Trans-Paific Partnership and Japan.

Making the Mexian Miracle.

Industrial Policy and Rebalancing in the US and China.

The Evolving Role of China in International Institutions.


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