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A Retrospective Look at the U.S. Productivity Growth Resurgence

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  • Dale W. Jorgenson
  • Mun S. Ho
  • Kevin J. Stiroh

Abstract

It is widely recognized that information technology was critical to the dramatic acceleration of U.S. labor productivity growth in the mid 1990s. This paper traces the evolution of productivity estimates to document how and when this perception emerged. Early studies concluded that information technology was relatively unimportant. Only after the massive information technology investment boom of the late 1990s did this investment and underlying productivity increases in the information technology-producing sectors come to be identified as important sources of growth. Although information technology has diminished in significance since the dot-com crash of 2000 and observed growth rates have slowed recently, we project that private sector productivity growth will average around 2.4 percent per year for the next decade, only moderately below the average of the post-1995 period.

Suggested Citation

  • Dale W. Jorgenson & Mun S. Ho & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2008. "A Retrospective Look at the U.S. Productivity Growth Resurgence," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:22:y:2008:i:1:p:3-24
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.22.1.3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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