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The impact of ICT and business services on the Italian economy


  • Saltari, Enrico
  • Wymer, Clifford R.
  • Federici, Daniela


This paper studies the role played by ICT in affecting the efficiency of business services (BS) industry, using a structural disequilibrium model of the Italian economy. The Italian BS sector presents a peculiar dynamics (compared to other EU countries) in that, after initially improving its efficiency by adopting ICT, from the early 90s it stagnated. Our estimates suggest that this anomaly can be traced back to a structural deficiency in absorbing new technologies. Our contribution adds to the explanations of the slowdown of the Italian productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Saltari, Enrico & Wymer, Clifford R. & Federici, Daniela, 2013. "The impact of ICT and business services on the Italian economy," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 110-118.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:25:y:2013:i:c:p:110-118 DOI: 10.1016/j.strueco.2012.07.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Oulton, Nicholas, 2001. "Must the Growth Rate Decline? Baumol's Unbalanced Growth Revisited," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(4), pages 605-627, October.
    2. Devicienti, Francesco & Maida, Agata & Pacelli, Lia, 2008. "The resurrection of the Italian wage curve," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 335-341, March.
    3. Enrico Saltari & Giuseppe Travaglini, 2009. "The Productivity Slowdown Puzzle. Technological and Non-technological Shocks in the Labor Market," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 483-509.
    4. Faïz Gallouj & Maria Savona, 2009. "Innovation in services: a review of the debate and a research agenda," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 149-172, April.
    5. Fixler, Dennis J. & Siegel, Donald, 1999. "Outsourcing and productivity growth in services," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 177-194, June.
    6. Wymer, C R, 1972. "Econometric Estimation of Stochastic Differential Equation Systems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(3), pages 565-577, May.
    7. Lucifora Claudio & Origo Federica, 1999. "Alla ricerca della flessibilità: un'analisi della curva dei salari in Italia," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 3-36.
    8. Wymer, Clifford R., 1997. "Structural Nonlinear Continuous-Time Models In Econometrics," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 518-548, June.
    9. Saltari Enrico & Wymer Clifford R. & Federici Daniela & Giannetti Marilena, 2012. "Technological Adoption with Imperfect Markets in the Italian Economy," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 1-30, April.
    10. Henk L.M. Kox, 2004. "The contribution of business services to aggregate productivity growth," Industrial Organization 0402005, EconWPA.
    11. Guglielmo Barone & Federico Cingano, 2011. "Service Regulation and Growth: Evidence from OECD Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(555), pages 931-957, September.
    12. Paolo Guerrieri & Bernardo Maggi & Valentina Meliciani & Pier Carlo Padoan, 2005. "Technology Diffusion, Services and Endogenous Growth in Europe. Is the Lisbon Strategy Useful?," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 95(1), pages 221-268, January-F.
    13. Gallouj, Faiz, 2002. "Innovation in services and the attendant old and new myths," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 137-154.
    14. Anita Wölfl, 2003. "Productivity Growth in Service Industries: An Assessment of Recent Patterns and the Role of Measurement," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2003/7, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Federici, Daniela & Saltari, Enrico & Wymer, Clifford, 2015. "Endogenizing the ICT sector: A multi-sector approach," MPRA Paper 66723, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Marianna Belloc & Paolo Guerrieri, 2015. "Impact of ICT diffusion and adoption on sectoral industrial performance: evidence from a panel of European countries," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 32(1), pages 67-84, April.
    3. Saltari, Enrico & Federici, Daniela, 2014. "Elasticity of substitution and the slowdown of the Italian productivity," MPRA Paper 58422, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Saltari, Enrico & Federici, Daniela, 2013. "Elasticity of substitution and technical progress: Is there a misspecification problem?," MPRA Paper 52194, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Business services; Technologial adoption; Disequilibrium model;

    JEL classification:

    • L84 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Personal, Professional, and Business Services
    • 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
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation


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