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Is the Information Technology Revolution Over?

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Author Info

  • David M. Byrne

    ()

  • Stephen D. Oliner

    ()

  • Daniel E. Sichel

    ()

Abstract

Given the slowdown in labour productivity growth in the mid-2000s, some have argued that the boost to labour productivity from IT may have run its course. This article contributes three types of evidence to this debate. First, we show that since 2004 IT has continued to make a significant contribution to U.S. labour productivity growth, though it is no longer providing the boost that it did during the productivity resurgence from 1995 to 2004. Second, we present evidence that semiconductor technology, a key ingredient of the IT revolution, has continued to advance at a rapid pace. Finally, we develop projections of growth in trend labour productivity in the U.S. non-farm business sector. The baseline projection of about 1¾ per cent a year is better than recent history but is still below the long-run average of 2¼ per cent. However, we see a reasonable prospect — particularly given the ongoing advance in semiconductors — that the pace of labour productivity growth could rise back up to the long-run average. While the evidence is far from conclusive, we judge that "No, the IT revolution is not over."

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File URL: http://www.csls.ca/ipm/25/IPM-25-Byrne-Oliner-Sichel.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Centre for the Study of Living Standards in its journal International Productivity Monitor.

Volume (Year): 25 (2013)
Issue (Month): (Spring)
Pages: 20-36

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Handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:25:y:2013:3

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References

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  1. Ana Aizcorbe & Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2006. "Shifting trends in semiconductor prices and the pace of technological progress," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-44, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. P. D. Chwelos & E. R. Berndt & I. M. Cockburn, 2008. "Faster, smaller, cheaper: an hedonic price analysis of PDAs," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(22), pages 2839-2856.
  3. Adam Copeland, 2013. "Seasonality, consumer heterogeneity and price indexes: the case of prepackaged software," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 47-59, February.
  4. Carol Corrado & Charles Hulten & Daniel Sichel, 2009. "Intangible Capital And U.S. Economic Growth," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(3), pages 661-685, 09.
  5. Haskel, J & Corrado, C & Jona-Lasinio, C & Iommi, M, 2012. "Intangible capital and growth in advanced economies: measurement methods and comparative results," Working Papers 9913, Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School.
  6. Unni Pillai, 2013. "A Model of Technological Progress in the Microprocessor Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 877-912, December.
  7. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2000. "The resurgence of growth in the late 1990s: is information technology the story?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-20, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973.
  9. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G. & Shapiro, Matthew D., 2001. "Productivity growth in the 1990s: technology, utilization, or adjustment?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 117-165, December.
  10. Robert J. Gordon, 2013. "U.S. Productivity Growth: The Slowdown Has Returned After a Temporary Revival," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 25, pages 13-19, Spring.
  11. Martin Neil Baily & James Manyika & Shalabh Gupta, 2013. "U.S. Productivity Growth: An Optimistic Perspective," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 25, pages 3-12, Spring.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Robert Gordon et la fin de la croissance américaine
    by ? in D'un champ l'autre on 2014-02-20 15:38:00
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Cited by:
  1. John G. Fernald & Charles I. Jones, 2014. "The Future of U.S. Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 19830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Chad Syverson, 2013. "Will History Repeat Itself? Comments on “Is the Information Technology Revolution Over?”," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 25, pages 37-40, Spring.
  3. Dave Reifschneider & William Wascher & David Wilcox, 2013. "Aggregate supply in the United States: recent developments and implications for the conduct of monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-77, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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