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General Purpose Technologies

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  • Boyan Jovanovic
  • Peter L. Rousseau

Abstract

Electricity and Information Technology (IT) are perhaps the two most important general purpose technologies (GPTs) to date. We analyze how the U.S. economy reacted to them. The Electricity and IT eras are similar, but also differ in several important ways. Electrification was more broadly adopted, whereas IT seems to be technologically more "revolutionary." The productivity slowdown is stronger in the IT era but the ongoing spread of IT and its continuing precipitous price decline are reasons for optimism about growth in the 21st century.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11093.

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Date of creation: Jan 2005
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Publication status: published as Jovanovic, Boyan & Rousseau, Peter L., 2005. "General Purpose Technologies," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1181-1224 Elsevier.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11093

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