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Information and Communication Technologies, Globalisation and Competitiveness: A Selective Survey


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  • Björn Alecke
  • Gerhard Untiedt


This paper gives a selective survey of different economic theories in order to discuss the role which IT plays for globalisation and how globalisation and technological progress in the IT-sector influences structural change, economic growth and national competitiveness. The decline in trade costs induced by IT will further enhance the existing trend of increasing trade in goods and services, especially those where reduction in trade costs due to IT are going to be most substantial. One hypothesis is that the rise in services trade will be greater than the rise in goods trade. Furthermore, modern IT does not just influence if, but also how foreign trade is to be carried out. Globalisation initiates structural change. In the long-run, however, conclusions with respect to convergence or divergence of factor endowments, production patterns and income levels seem to depend on the choice of the theoretical model. In discussing the role of IT for growth of the aggregate economy we have to distinguish between capital deepening and spillover effects. Since capital deepening means purchases of IT-investment goods we expect that firms are able to judge the growth prospects offered by IT. Thus there is no need for a special policy approach for firms involved in the manufacturing and supply of IT-products. If on the other hand the IT-sector generates technological spillovers, then a special economic policy treatment is justified. In diesem Beitrag werden aus der Sicht verschiedener ökonomischer Theorien die Rolle von IuK-Tech-nologien für die Globalisierung und die Frage diskutiert, wie Globalisierung und IuK-Technologien den Strukturwandel, das Wirtschaftswachstum und die nationale Wettbewerbsfähigkeit beeinflussen. IuK-Technologien führen zu einer Reduktion der Distanzkosten (Transport- und Transaktionskosten) und verstärken damit den langfristigen Trend eines stark wachsenden internationalen Handels mit Gütern und Dienstleistungen. Das Aufbrechen der Wertschöpfungskette wird in Zukunft an Bedeutung gewinnen, so dass weltweit der für jede Produktionsstufe günstigste Standort gewählt werden kann. IuK-Technologien beeinflussen aber nicht nur die Frage ob, sondern auch wie der internationale Handel zunehmen wird. Globalisierung und technischer Fortschritt beschleunigen den Strukturwandel. Prognosen darüber, ob es langfristig zu einer Konvergenz oder Divergenz in den Faktorausstattungen, den Produktionsstrukturen oder dem Einkommensniveau kommen wird, hängen jedoch vom zu Grunde gelegten theoretischen Modell ab. Eindeutige Aussagen über die Richtung des Strukturwandels und die Konvergenz von Technologie- und Einkommensniveaus sind lediglich auf Basis der neoklassische Theorie möglich. Bei der Diskussion um den Beitrag der IuK-Technologien für das gesamtwirtschaftliche Wachstum sind Kapitalintensivierung und Spillovereffekte zu unterscheiden. Da Kapitalintensivierung den Kauf von IuK-Gütern für die Produktion umfasst, kann davon ausgegangen werden, dass Unternehmen um die Wachstumsperspektiven wissen, welche die IuK-Technologien offerieren. Es besteht dann keine Notwendigkeit, den IuK-Technologien produzierenden Unternehmen eine besondere wirtschaftspolitische Stellung zu geben.

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Article provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its journal Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung.

Volume (Year): 69 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 544-558

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Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:69-40-5

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  1. Paul Krugman, 1995. "Growing World Trade: Causes and Consequences," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 327-377.
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