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Computers and Productivity: are Aggregation Effects Important?

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  • Robert H. McGuckin
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    Abstract

    This article examines the empirical implications of aggregation bias when measuring the productive impact of computers. To isolate "aggregation in variables" and "aggregation in relations" problems, we compare production function estimates across specifications, econometric estimators, and data levels. The results show both sources of bias are important, especially when moving from sectors to the economy level, and when the elasticity of all types of noncomputer capital are restricted to be equal. The elasticity of computers is surprisingly stable between industry and sector regressions and does not appear biased by incorporating a restrictive measure of non-computer capital. The data consistently show that computers have a large impact on output. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

    Volume (Year): 40 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 42-59

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:40:y:2002:i:1:p:42-59

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    Cited by:
    1. Francesco VENTURINI, 2008. "Information Technology, Research & Development, or Both? What Really Drives A Nation's Productivity," Working Papers 321, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    2. Desmet, Klaus & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2009. "Spatial growth and industry age," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2477-2502, November.
    3. Juan Gallego & Luis H. Gutiérrez & Sang H. Lee, 2011. "A firm-level analysis of ICT adoption in an emerging economy: evidence from the colombian manufacturing industries," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 009155, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    4. Francesco Venturini, 2009. "The long-run impact of ICT," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 497-515, December.
    5. Ignacio Hernando & Soledad Núñez, 2002. "The contribution of ICT to economic activity: a growth accounting exercise with Spanish firm-level data," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0203, Banco de Espa�a.

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