Economics 401 homework assignment

Recently, net neutrality has been in the news. See this New York Times article for a brief overview, and see this editorial and this Daily Show clip for two viewpoints. Your assignment is to write a paper that covers the following:

  1. What net neutrality is.
  2. Who is for it and who is against it.
  3. Give at least 2 economic arguments in favor of net neutrality (note: I'll interpret "economic" loosely here; your answer could include considerations of things like fairness, efficiency, profit, etc.).
  4. Give at least 2 economic arguments against net neutrality.
  5. Give a brief prediction of what you think the future of net neutrality will be (avoid discussing what you personally think it should be).

Your write-up should be typed, of sufficient length to address the 5 points above, but not more than 4 pages. It is likely to be much more convincing and thus receive a much higher score if you cite sources (such as articles in major newspapers or magazines, especially by economists) to back up everything you say. Include a separate list of cited sources; for online sources, this should include the name of the publication, name of the author, date of the article, and a link (I don't care about the format beyond that). Poorly sourced or unsourced papers are unlikely to receive a high grade.

You paper will be worth 10% of your course grade (there will be no other graded HW assignments this semester), and is due Friday, December 4 by 3pm. Late papers will be accepted, but there will be a 5 percentage point penalty for each day the paper is turned in late. Papers should be emailed to me at by 3pm on 12/4/2009.