Journal Special Issue
The New Economy in Europe, 1992–2001

Despite the fast catching up in the diffusion of information and communication technologies (ICT) experienced by most EU countries in the last few years, information technologies have so far delivered few productivity gains in Europe. In the second half of the past decade, the growth contributions from ICT capital rose in six EU countries only (the UK, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Ireland, and Greece). Unlike in the USA, this has not generally been associated with higher labour or total factor productivity (TFP) growth rates, the only exceptions being Ireland and Greece. Particularly worrying, the large countries in Continental Europe (Germany, France, Italy, and Spain) showed stagnating or mildly declining growth contributions from ICT capital, together with definite declines in TFP growth compared to the first half of the 1990s. It looks as though the celebrated ‘Solow paradox’ on the lack of correlation between ICT investment and productivity growth has fled the USA and come to Europe.