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The Need for Speed: Impacts of Internet Connectivity on Firm Productivity

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  • Arthur Grimes

    ()
    (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research & University of Waikato)

  • Cleo Ren

    (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)

  • Philip Stevens

    ()
    (Ministry of Economic Development)

Abstract

Fast internet access is widely considered to be a productivity-enhancing factor. Internet access speeds vary regionally within countries and even within cities. Despite articulate pleas for network upgrades to accelerate internet access, there is little rigorous research quantifying benefits to individual firms that arise from upgraded internet connectivity. We use a large New Zealand micro-survey of firms linked to unit record firm financial data to determine the impact that differing types of internet access have on firm productivity. Propensity score matching is used to control for factors, including the firm’s (lagged) productivity, that determine firms’ internet access choices. Having matched firms, we examine the productivity impacts that arise when a firm adopts different types (speeds) of internet connectivity. Broadband adoption is found to boost productivity but we find no productivity differences across broadband type. The results provide the first firm-level estimates internationally of the degree of productivity gains sourced from upgraded internet access.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in its series Working Papers with number 09_15.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtu:wpaper:09_15

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Keywords: Internet; broadband; productivity;

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References

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  1. Goldfarb, Avi, 2006. "The (teaching) role of universities in the diffusion of the Internet," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 203-225, March.
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  6. Forman, Chris & Goldfarb, Avi & Greenstein, Shane, 2005. "How did location affect adoption of the commercial Internet? Global village vs. urban leadership," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 389-420, November.
  7. Thomas N. Hubbard, 2000. "The Demand For Monitoring Technologies: The Case Of Trucking," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 533-560, May.
  8. Caliendo, Marco & Kopeinig, Sabine, 2005. "Some Practical Guidance for the Implementation of Propensity Score Matching," IZA Discussion Papers 1588, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Nick Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2006. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," CEP Discussion Papers dp0716, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Chris Forman & Avi Goldfarb & Shane Greenstein, 2009. "The Internet and Local Wages: Convergence or Divergence?," NBER Working Papers 14750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Fabling, Richard & Grimes, Arthur & Stevens, Philip, 2008. "A Comparison of Qualitative and Quantitative Firm Performance Measures," Occasional Papers 08/4, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
  12. Chris Forman, 2005. "The Corporate Digital Divide: Determinants of Internet Adoption," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(4), pages 641-654, April.
  13. B. K. Atrostic & Sang V. Nguyen, 2005. "It and Productivity in U.S. Manufacturing: Do Computer Networks Matter?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 493-506, July.
  14. Shane Greenstein & Ryan C. McDevitt, 2009. "The Broadband Bonus: Accounting for Broadband Internet's Impact on U.S. GDP," NBER Working Papers 14758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Arthur Grimes & Cleo Ren & Philip Stevens, 2009. "The Need for Speed: Impacts of Internet Connectivity on Firm Productivity," Working Papers 09_15, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  16. Joshua Angrist & Jinyong Hahn, 2004. "When to Control for Covariates? Panel Asymptotics for Estimates of Treatment Effects," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 58-72, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kim, Younjun & Orazem, Peter, 2012. "Broadband Internet and Firm Entry: Evidence from Rural Iowa," Staff General Research Papers 35696, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Atif, Syed Muhammad & Endres, James & Macdonald, James, 2012. "Broadband Infrastructure and Economic Growth: A Panel Data Analysis of OECD Countries," MPRA Paper 42177, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Mok, Penny & Mason, Geoff & Stevens, Philip & Timmins, Jason, 2012. "A Good Worker is Hard to Find: Skills Shortages in New Zealand Firms," Occasional Papers 12/5, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
  4. Bert Sadowski, 2014. "Business ICT Adoption and Open Access: The Example of SMEs at Industrial Parks in the Netherlands," Working Papers 14-04, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies, revised Feb 2014.
  5. Haller, Stefanie A. & Lyons, Sean, 2012. "Broadband adoption and firm productivity: evidence from Irish manufacturing firms," MPRA Paper 42626, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Bertschek, Irene & Niebel, Thomas, 2013. "Mobile and more productive? Firm-level evidence on the productivity effects of mobile internet use at the early stage of diffusion," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-118, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Bronwyn HOWELL & Arthur GRIMES, 2010. "Productivity Questions for Public Sector Fast Fibre Network Financiers," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(78), pages 127-146, 2nd quart.
  8. Arthur Grimes & Cleo Ren & Philip Stevens, 2012. "The need for speed: impacts of internet connectivity on firm productivity," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 187-201, April.
  9. Richard Fabling & Arthur Grimes, 2009. "The "suite" smell of success: complementary personnel practices and firm performance," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2009/13, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  10. Procter, Roger, 2011. "Echanching Productivity: Towards an Updated Action Agenda," Occasional Papers 11/1, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.

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