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Measuring the Electronic Economy: Current Status and Next Steps

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  • Barbara K Atrostic
  • John Gates
  • Ron Jarmin

Abstract

The recent growth of consumer retailing over the Internet draws attention to the electronic economy. However, businesses also conduct other business processes over computer networks, and many have been doing so for some time. Uses of computer networks attract attention because of assertions that they lead to new products and services, new delivery methods, streamlined or re-engineered business processes, new business structures, and enhanced business performance. These changes, in turn, potentially affect the performance of the entire economy, including economic growth, productivity, prices, employment, trade, and the structures of businesses, regions, and markets. Evaluating these assertions, and their effects on economic performance, requires solid statistical information about the electronic economy. This paper develops principles for identifying information critical to measuring the size and evaluating the potential effects of the electronic economy, relates that information to current data collection programs, and notes relevant measurement issues. Some of the required information about the electronic economy can be collected by adding questions to existing surveys, making the scope of existing surveys consistent, or developing new surveys. However, many key pieces of information pose significant challenges to economic measurement. While some of those challenges are specific to the electronic economy, others are long-standing ones. Interest in the electronic economy highlights the importance of continuing attempts to address these challenges. Improving and enhancing the statistical system to provide information about the electronic economy, therefore, would also substantially improve the baseline information available for evaluating the performance of the entire economy.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2000/CES-WP-00-10.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 00-10.

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Date of creation: Jun 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:00-10

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Keywords: CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;

References

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  1. Lucia Foster & John C. Haltiwanger & C. J. Krizan, 2001. "Aggregate Productivity Growth. Lessons from Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 303-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Nathalie Greenan & Jacques Mairesse, 1996. "Computers and Productivity in France: Some Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin Hitt, 1996. "Paradox Lost? Firm-Level Evidence on the Returns to Information Systems Spending," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(4), pages 541-558, April.
  4. 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.).
  5. Erik Brynjolfsson & Shinkyu Yang, 1997. "Information Technology and Productivity: A Review of the Literature," Working Paper Series 202, MIT Center for Coordination Science.
  6. Jack E. Triplett, 1999. "The Solow productivity paradox: what do computers do to productivity?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(2), pages 309-334, April.
  7. Donald Siegel & Zvi Griliches, 1992. "Purchased Services, Outsourcing, Computers, and Productivity in Manufacturing," NBER Chapters, in: Output Measurement in the Service Sectors, pages 429-460 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Timothy Dunne & John Haltiwanger & Lucia Foster, 2000. "Wage and Productivity Dispersion in U.S. Manufacturing: The Role of Computer Investment," NBER Working Papers 7465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Zvi Griliches, 1992. "Output Measurement in the Service Sectors," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gril92-1, July.
  10. Berndt, Ernst R. & Morrison, Catherine J., 1992. "High-tech capital formation and economic performance in U.S. manufacturing industries : an exploratory analysis," Working papers 3419-92., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. B.K. Atrostic & John Gates, 2001. "U.S. Productivity and Electronic Processes in Manufacturing," Working Papers 01-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. World Bank, 2003. "Foundations for the Development of Information and Communication Technologies in Algeria," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14621, The World Bank.
  3. Marianne P. Bitler, 2001. "Small business and computers: adoption and performance," Working Paper Series 2001-15, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Atrostic, Barbara K. & Boegh-Nielsen, Peter & Motohashi, Kazuyuki & Nguyen, Sang, 2005. "Technologies de l’information, productivité et croissance des entreprises : résultats basés sur de nouvelles microdonnées internationales," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 81(1), pages 255-279, Mars-Juin.
  5. Chris Forman & Avi Goldfarb & Shane Greenstein, 2002. "Digital Dispersion: An Industrial and Geographic Census of Commerical Internet Use," NBER Working Papers 9287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. B.K. Atrostic & Sang V. Nguyen, 2002. "Computer Networks and U.S. Manufacturing Plant Productivity: New Evidence from the CNUS Data," Working Papers 02-01, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  7. B. Atrostic, 2008. "Measuring U.S. innovative activity: business data at the U.S. Census Bureau," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 153-171, April.

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