Growth, Technological Change, and ICT Diffusion: Recent Evidence from OECD Countries
In this paper we present an overview of GDP and productivity growth patterns in OECD countries over the past decade, on the basis of harmonized data. Our evidence suggests that fast-growing countries generally shared three characteristics: improvements in labour utilization; a generalized enhancement in human capital; and rapid shifts in the composition of physical capital towards information and communication technology (ICT) equipment. Particularly, we show that technological change embodied in new ICT capital goods has been a primary source of output and productivity growth in ICT-using sectors. The international comparison allows relating growth patterns to institutional and policy indicators, thereby offering some preliminary insights into the potential sources of growth disparities. Cross-country evidence yields some tentative support to the idea that institutional factors affecting competition in the product market are likely to affect productivity patterns, especially in a period of rapid diffusion of a general-purpose technology (such as ICT). Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.
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