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A twin transformation is reshaping the world’s economy and lives
By Diane Coyle  |  May 18, 2023
A twin transformation is reshaping the world’s economy and lives
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Digitalization and decarbonization are disruptive transformations that also promise better lives but only effective competition policies and mechanisms will clear the high hurdles they erect to derive the maximum benefits, says Cambridge University Public Policy Prof Diane Coyle.

CAMBRIDGE, UK - The world’s advanced economies are currently undergoing dual structural transformations that will change every aspect of people’s lives, from how they work and do business to how markets are regulated.

The most notable of these transformations is digitalization, which has been so ubiquitous over the past 25 years that, in today’s world, referring to the ‘digital economy’ sounds as odd as talking about the ‘electricity economy.’ To be sure, this digital shift is still incomplete: Relatively few companies currently use cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. However, billions around the world already use AI-powered tools like chatbots and online translation every single day.

The other transformation is the shift to a carbon-neutral economy, which will upend the energy, construction, transport, and manufacturing industries, as well as numerous other sectors. The fall in renewables prices, which is already happening more quickly than the declines in computer prices in previous decades, is a strong indicator that this transition is well underway. With renewable power now significantly cheaper than fossil-fuel energy, the pace of decarbonization is set to accelerate even further.

These technological shifts raise many policy questions, especially with antitrust enforcement. The view prevailing among economists for four decades has been that the roles of the private and public sectors

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