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ICT Investment, Productivity and Efficiency: Evidence at Firm Level Using a Stochastic Frontier Approach

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  • L. Becchetti

    ()

  • David Bedoya

    ()

  • L. Paganetto

    ()

Abstract

We analyze the determinants of ICT investment and the impact of information technology on productivity and efficiency on a representative sample of small and medium sized Italian firms. In order to test the most relevant theoretical predictions from the ICT literature we evaluate the impact of investment in software, hardware and telecommunications of these firms on a series of intermediate variables and on productivity. Among intermediate variables we consider the demand for skilled workers, the introduction of new products and processes and the rate of capacity utilization. Among productivity measures we include total factor productivity, the productivity of labor, and the distance from the “best practice” by using a stochastic frontier approach. Our results show that the effect of ICT investment on firm efficiency can be more clearly detected at firm level data by decomposing it into software and telecommunications investment. We find that telecommunications investment positively affects the creation of new products and processes, while software investment increases the demand for skilled workers, average labor productivity and proximity to the optimal production frontier. We interpret these results by arguing that ICT investment modifies the trade-off between scale and scope economies. While software investment increases the scale of firm operations, telecommunications investment creates a “flexibility option” easing the switch from a Fordist to a flexible network productive model in which products and processes are more frequently adapted to satisfy consumers’ taste for variety. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Productivity Analysis.

Volume (Year): 20 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
Pages: 143-167

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jproda:v:20:y:2003:i:2:p:143-167

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100296

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Keywords: ICT investment; real options; stochastic frontiers;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Aiello, Francesco & Castiglione, Concetta, 2014. "Being efficient to stay strong in a weak economy. The case of calabrian manufacturing firms," MPRA Paper 54366, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Haller, Stefanie & Siedschlag, Iulia, 2008. "Determinants of ICT Adoption: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," Papers DYNREG29, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  3. Stefanie Haller & Iulia Traistaru-Siedschlag, 2007. "The Adoption of ICT: Firm-Level Evidence from Irish Manufacturing Industries," Papers WP204, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  4. Leonardo Becchetti & Fabrizio Adriani, 2003. "Does the Digital Divide Matter? The Role of Information and Communication Technology in Cross-country Level and Growth Estimates?," CEIS Research Paper 4, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  5. Siedschlag, Iulia & Zhang, Xiaoheng & Smith, Donal, 2009. "What Determines the Attractiveness of EU Regions to the Location of Multinational Firms in the ICT Sector?," Papers DYNREG45, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  6. Heshmati, Almas & Kumbhakar, Subal C., 2010. "Technical Change and Total Factor Productivity Growth: The Case of Chinese Provinces," IZA Discussion Papers 4784, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Meijers, Huub, 2006. "Diffusion of the Internet and low inflation in the information economy," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-23, March.
  8. G. Medda & C. Piga, 2004. "R&S e spillover industriali: un'analisi sulle imprese italiane," Working Paper CRENoS 200406, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  9. Khayyat, Nabaz T. & Heshmati, Almas, 2014. "Production Risk, Energy Use Efficiency and Productivity of Korean Industries," IZA Discussion Papers 8081, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. A. Lasagni & F. Sforzi, 2007. "Locational determinants of the ICT sector across Italy," Economics Department Working Papers 2007-EP03, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
  11. Castiglione, Concetta & Infante, Davide, 2012. "ICTs and lags in technical efficiency gains. A stochastic frontier approach over a panel of Italian manufacturing firms," MPRA Paper 51071, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Idota, Hiroki & Bunno, Teruyuki & Tsuji, Masatsugu, 2013. "Covariance structure analysis of innovation and ICT use among Japanese innovative SMEs," 24th European Regional ITS Conference, Florence 2013 88463, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
  13. Sophia P. Dimelis & Sotiris K. Papaioannou, 2011. "Technical Efficiency and the Role of ICT: A Comparison of Developed and Developing Countries," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 47(0), pages 40-53, July.
  14. Gianfranco E. Atzeni & Oliviero A. Carboni, 2006. "The Effects of Subsidies on Investment: an Empirical Evaluation on ICT in Italy," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 97(5), pages 279-302.
  15. Aleksandra Bradic Martinovic & Aleksandar Zdravkovic, 2012. "Information and Communication Techologies in Basis for the Improvement of Companies Performance in Serbia," Book Chapters, Institute of Economic Sciences.
  16. Bagella , Michele & Becchetti , Leonardo & Hasan , Iftekhar, 2004. "The anticipated and concurring effects of EMU: exchange rate volatility, institutions and growth," Research Discussion Papers 15/2004, Bank of Finland.

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