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The new economy: reality and policy

  • John Van Reenen

This paper concerns the new economy (alias the knowledge-based economy). I examine the different meanings attached to the new economy term and the evidence surrounding it, concentrating on the upsurge in US productivity growth between 1995 and 2000. I argue that the reports of the death of the new economy have been greatly exaggerated. There is evidence that information technology has transformed the US economy and is thus likely to have a strong impact on the UK economy in coming years. I discuss how elements of public policy should adapt to these economic changes, both in terms of an overall framework and in applications to specific areas (technology policy, human capital policy, competition policy and industrial policy). The new economy is a place of hope and fear. The hope is that policy activism can cement in potential productivity gains; the fear is that government actions will not mitigate the seemingly ineluctable pressures towards social exclusion.

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Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

Volume (Year): 22 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 307-336

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Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:22:y:2001:i:3:p:307-336
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  3. Hall, Bronwyn & Van Reenen, John, 2000. "How effective are fiscal incentives for R&D? A review of the evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 449-469, April.
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  13. Litan, Robert & Rivlin, Alice, 2001. "Projecting the economic impact of the Internet," Journal of Financial Transformation, Capco Institute, vol. 2, pages 35-41.
  14. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
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  25. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, March.
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  27. Brian Bell & Richard Blundell & John Van Reenen, 1999. "Getting the unemployed back to work: the role of targeted wage subsidies," IFS Working Papers W99/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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  29. Desjonqueres, Thibaut & Machin, Stephen & Van Reenen, John, 1999. " Another Nail in the Coffin? Or Can the Trade Based Explanation of Changing Skill Structures Be Resurrected?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(4), pages 533-54, December.
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