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49 CES Open Forum Series

Growth Models and the Regulation of the Data Economy: The Case of the United Kingdom

Mar 14, 2022 Pascal D. König


With data becoming a key economic asset in the 21st century, countries are experiencing a gradual shift in the sources of economic growth. This creates incentives to establish suitable conditions for governing data as a resource and growth factor. The present paper argues that incentives to ease the extraction, processing, and use of data are tied to macroeconomic conditions that are likely to characterize a consumption-led growth model. It illustrates the arguments with a study of policy developments in the United Kingdom, where the government launched a proposal for weakening data protection standards after the country left the European Union. The case study highlights how policy action and discourse are linked to several facets of the data economy that have special weight in the country’s growth model: the comparatively strong tech sector, reliance on foreign investments, and importance of advertising and data markets in the United Kingdom.