The New Economy in Europe, 1992-2001
Despite the fast catching-up in ICT diffusion experienced by most EU countries in the last few years, information technologies have so far delivered little productivity gains in Europe. In the second half of the past decade, growth contributions from ICT capital rose in six EU countries only (the UK, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Ireland and Greece). Quite unlike the United States, this has not generally been associated to higher labour or total factor productivity growth rates, the only exceptions being Ireland and Greece. Particularly worrisome, 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 like that the celebrated ‘Solow paradox’ on the lack of correlation between ICT investment and productivity growth has fled the US to migrate to Europe.