Book
Information Technology, Productivity, and Economic Growth

International Evidence and Implications for Economic Development

The often-advocated view that the information technology revolution will change the world must stem from the basic premiss that investment in IT has a visible impact on productivity and economic growth. But how can we measure this impact and how large is it? By surveying previous studies and by presenting new micro- and macroeconomic evidence, this collection shows that in recent years the use of IT in the production of goods and services has had a strong influence on productivity and economic growth in industrial and in newly industrialized countries. Yet developing countries seem neither to have invested in IT nor benefited from such investments to the same extent as industrial countries. There is concern that information is becoming a commodity, like income and wealth, by which countries are classified as rich and poor. The contributors to this volume argue that investment in infrastructure, physical capital, and education is the key to economic development. This is an old policy prescription in the economics of development. What is new is the suggestion that the IT content of these investments should be high. The use of IT is so widely spread throughout the world economy that no single country can avoid investing in this technology if it wants to improve the standard of living of its citizens. Besides providing citizens with access to IT and to IT education and training, governments should promote participation in the information society, thus generating a sufficiently strong demand base for information products. By developing advanced applications of IT, and by becoming a model for the private sector, governments can alter worker, firm, and consumer attitudes, and lower their costs of adopting IT. The use of IT, not necessarily its production, is what matters for economic development.

Table of contents
  1. 1. Information Technology and Economic Growth: Introduction and Conclusions
    Matti Pohjola
    More Working Paper | Information Technology and Economic Development
  2. Part I: Technology and Economic Growth
    2. The Role of Knowledge and Capital in Economic Growth
    Sergio Rebelo
    More Working Paper | The Role of Knowledge and Capital in Economic Growth
  3. Part I: Technology and Economic Growth
    3. International R&D Spillovers and Economic Growth
    Pierre Mohnen
  4. Part I: Technology and Economic Growth
    4. The Weightless Economy in Economic Development
    Danny Quah
    More Working Paper | The Weightless Economy in Economic Development
  5. Part II: Microeconomic Evidence
    5. Computers and Labour Markets: International Evidence
    Francis Kramarz
    More Working Paper | Computers and Labour Markets
  6. Part II: Microeconomic Evidence
    6. Information Technology and Research and Development Impacts on Productivity and Skills: Looking for Correlations on French Firm-Level Data
    Nathalie Greenan, Jacques Mairesse and Agnès Topiol-Bensaïd
  7. Part II: Microeconomic Evidence
    7. The Determinants of the Adoption of Information Technology: A Case Study of the Indian Garments Industry
    Kaushalesh Lal
  8. Part III: Macroeconomic Evidence
    8. Computers and Economic Growth in Finland
    Petri Niininen
    More Working Paper | Computers and Economic Growth in Finland
  9. Part III: Macroeconomic Evidence
    9. The Economic Impact of Information and Communication Technology in Korea
    Kuk-Hwan Jeong, Jeong Hun Oh and Ilsoon Shin
  10. Part III: Macroeconomic Evidence
    10. The Contribution of Information Technology to the Rapid Economic Growth of Singapore
    Poh-Kam Wong
  11. Part III: Macroeconomic Evidence
    11. Information Technology and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Analysis
    Matti Pohjola
    More Working Paper | Information Technology and Economic Growth
  12. Part III: Macroeconomic Evidence
    12. Information Technology and Economic Development: Results and Policy Implications of Cross-Country Studies
    Kenneth L. Kraemer and Jason Dedrick
Show all