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Two Centuries of Productivity Growth in Computing

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  • Nordhaus, William D.

Abstract

The present study analyzes computer performance over the last century and a half. Three results stand out. First, there has been a phenomenal increase in computer power over the twentieth century. Depending upon the standard used, computer performance has improved since manual computing by a factor between 1.7 trillion and 76 trillion. Second, there was a major break in the trend around World War II. Third, this study develops estimates of the growth in computer power relying on performance rather than components; the price declines using performance-based measures are markedly larger than those reported in the official statistics.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 67 (2007)
Issue (Month): 01 (March)
Pages: 128-159

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:67:y:2007:i:01:p:128-159_00

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  1. Les robots, l’emploi et le paradoxe de Polanyi
    by ? in D'un champ l'autre on 2014-08-23 12:26:00
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Cited by:
  1. Bela Nagy & J. Doyne Farmer & Quan M. Bui & Jessika E. Trancik, 2012. "Statistical Basis for Predicting Technological Progress," Papers 1207.1463, arXiv.org.
  2. John Van Reenen, 2011. "Wage inequality, technology and trade: 21st Century evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 47494, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Crafts, Nicholas, 2010. "The contribution of new technology to economic growth: lessons from economic history," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(03), pages 409-440, December.
  4. Michelle Rendall & Franziska J. Weiss, 2014. "Employment polarization and the role of the apprenticeship system," ECON - Working Papers 141, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. Livshits, Igor & MacGee, James & Tertilt, Michèle, 2014. "The Democratization of Credit and the Rise in Consumer Bankruptcies," Working Papers 14-07, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
  6. Wielandt, Hanna & Senftleben, Charlotte, 2012. "The Polarization of Employment in German Local Labor Markets," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62063, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  7. David H. Autor & David Dorn, 2013. "The Growth of Low-Skill Service Jobs and the Polarization of the US Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1553-97, August.
  8. Marten, Alex L., 2011. "Transient temperature response modeling in IAMs: The effects of over simplification on the SCC," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 5(18), pages 1-42.
  9. repec:cge:warwcg:01 is not listed on IDEAS

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