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Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance

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  • Erik Brynjolfsson
  • Lorin M. Hitt

Abstract

To understand the economic value of computers, one must broaden the traditional definition of both the technology and its effects. Case studies and firm-level econometric evidence suggest that: 1) organizational "investments" have a large influence on the value of IT investments; and 2) the benefits of IT investment are often intangible and disproportionately difficult to measure. Our analysis suggests that the link between IT and increased productivity emerged well before the recent surge in the aggregate productivity statistics and that the current macroeconomic productivity revival may in part reflect the contributions of intangible capital accumulated in the past.

Suggested Citation

  • Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2000. "Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 23-48, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:14:y:2000:i:4:p:23-48
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.14.4.23
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L63 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Microelectronics; Computers; Communications Equipment

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