IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/red/issued/v5y2002i2p443-469.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Technology Adoption Costs and Productivity Growth: The Transition to Information Technology

Author

Listed:
  • James Bessen

    (Research on Innovation)

Abstract

Using two panels of U.S. manufacturing industries, this paper estimates capital adjustment costs from 1961 to 1996. I find that from 1974-83 adjustment costs rose sharply --they more that doubled from about 3% of output to around 7%. Moreover, this increase is specifically associated with a shift to investment in information technology. But such large adoption costs imply that the Solow residual mismeasures productivity growth: adoption costs are resource costs representing an unmeasured investment. I find that when this investment is included, productivity grew about 0.4% per annum faster than official measures during the 70's and early 80's, reducing the size of the productivity "slowdown." Indeed, estimated productivity growth rates were roughly the same from 1974-88 as from 1949-73. Thus technology transitions critically affect productivity growth measurement. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • James Bessen, 2002. "Technology Adoption Costs and Productivity Growth: The Transition to Information Technology," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(2), pages 443-469, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:5:y:2002:i:2:p:443-469
    DOI: 10.1006/redy.2001.0152
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/redy.2001.0152
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full texts is restricted to ScienceDirect subscribers and ScienceDirect institutional members. See http://www.sciencedirect.com/ for details.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1006/redy.2001.0152?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2004. "What's driving the new economy?: the benefits of workplace innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(493), pages 97-116, February.
    2. repec:ucp:bknber:9780226304557 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Greenwood, Jeremy & Yorukoglu, Mehmet, 1997. "1974," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 49-95, June.
      • Greenwood, J. & Yorukoglu, M., 1996. "1974," RCER Working Papers 429, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    4. Berndt, Ernst R. & Morrison, Catherine J., 1995. "High-tech capital formation and economic performance in U.S. manufacturing industries An exploratory analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-43, January.
    5. Robert J. Gordon, 2000. "Does the "New Economy" Measure Up to the Great Inventions of the Past?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 49-74, Fall.
    6. Charles R. Hulten, 1996. "Quality Change in Capital Goods and Its Impact on Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5569, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Ben S. Bernanke & Julio J. Rotemberg (ed.), 1996. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522225, December.
    8. Jeremy Greenwood & Boyan Jovanovic, 2001. "Accounting for Growth," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 179-224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Karl Whelan, 2002. "Computers, Obsolescence, And Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 445-461, August.
    10. Jorgenson, Dale W., 1966. "The Embodiment Hypothesis," Scholarly Articles 3403063, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    11. Michael T. Kiley, 1999. "Computers and growth with costs of adjustment: will the future look like the past?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-36, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    12. Kevin J. Stiroh & Dale W. Jorgenson, 1999. "Information Technology and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 109-115, May.
    13. Hercowitz, Zvi, 1998. "The 'embodiment' controversy: A review essay," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 217-224, February.
    14. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Dale W. Jorgenson & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2000. "Raising the Speed Limit: U.S. Economic Growth in the Information Age," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 125-236.
    16. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 5474.
    17. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 1997. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 342-362, June.
    18. Kiley, Michael T., 2001. "Computers and growth with frictions: aggregate and disaggregate evidence," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 171-215, December.
    19. Mortensen, Dale T, 1973. "Generalized Costs of Adjustment and Dynamic Factor Demand Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 657-665, July.
    20. Charles R. Hulten, 1992. "Growth Accounting When Technical Change is Embodied in Capital," NBER Working Papers 3971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Franklin M. Fisher, 1965. "Embodied Technical Change and the Existence of an Aggregate Capital Stock," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(4), pages 263-288.
    22. Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1988. "Estimation of the Internal Adjustment Costs Model Using Longitudinal Establishment Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 421-430, August.
    23. Gort, Michael & Wall, Richard A., 1998. "Obsolescence, input augmentation, and growth accounting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1653-1665, November.
    24. Dale W. Jorgenson, 1966. "The Embodiment Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 1-1.
    25. Berndt, Ernst R. & Fuss, Melvyn A., 1986. "Productivity measurement with adjustments for variations in capacity utilization and other forms of temporary equilibrium," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 7-29.
    26. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell, 1996. "Can Technology Improvements Cause Productivity Slowdowns?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 209-276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Hulten, Charles R, 1992. "Growth Accounting When Technical Change Is Embodied in Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 964-980, September.
    28. Treadway, Arthur B, 1971. "The Rational Multivariate Flexible Accelerator," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 845-855, September.
    29. 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.
    30. Evsey D. Domar, 1963. "Total Productivity and the Quality of Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71, pages 586-586.
    31. Comin, D., 2000. "An Uncertainty-Driven Theory of the Productivity Slowdown: Manufacturing," Working Papers 00-16, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    32. Moses Abramovitz, 1956. "Resource and Output Trends in the United States since 1870," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abra56-1, June.
    33. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 1994. "Computers and Output Growth Revisited: How Big Is the Puzzle?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 273-334.
    34. Robert J. Gordon, 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord90-1, June.
    35. Moses Abramovitz, 1956. "Resource and Output Trends in the United States since 1870," NBER Chapters, in: Resource and Output Trends in the United States since 1870, pages 1-23, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Hasan Bakhshi & Jens Larsen, 2001. "Investment-specific technological progress in the United Kingdom," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Empirical studies of structural changes and inflation, volume 3, pages 49-80, Bank for International Settlements.
    2. Plutarchos Sakellaris & Daniel J. Wilson, 2004. "Quantifying Embodied Technological Change," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(1), pages 1-26, January.
    3. Michael R. Pakko, 2002. "What Happens When the Technology Growth Trend Changes?: Transition Dynamics, Capital Growth and the 'New Economy'," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(2), pages 376-407, April.
    4. Jason G. Cummins & Giovanni L. Violante, 2002. "Investment-Specific Technical Change in the US (1947-2000): Measurement and Macroeconomic Consequences," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(2), pages 243-284, April.
    5. Raquel Ortega‐Argilés & Mariacristina Piva & Marco Vivarelli, 2014. "The transatlantic productivity gap: Is R&D the main culprit?," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 47(4), pages 1342-1371, November.
    6. Raouf Boucekkine & David De la Croix & Omar Licandro, 2011. "Vintage Capital Growth Theory: Three Breakthroughs," Working Papers 565, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    7. Argandoña, Antonio, 2001. "Nueva economía y el crecimiento económico, La," IESE Research Papers D/437, IESE Business School.
    8. Charles R. Hulten, 2000. "Total Factor Productivity: A Short Biography," NBER Working Papers 7471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Plutarchos Sakellaris & Dan Wilson, 2000. "The Production-Side Approach to Estimating Embodied Technological Change," Electronic Working Papers 00-002, University of Maryland, Department of Economics.
    10. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David, 2003. "Information technologies, embodiment and growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 2007-2034.
    11. Hulten, Charles R., 2010. "Growth Accounting," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 987-1031, Elsevier.
    12. Oulton, Nicholas, 2007. "Investment-specific technological change and growth accounting," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1290-1299, May.
    13. Vincent BODART & Paul REDING, 2001. "Do Foreign Exchange Markets Matter Dor Industry Stock Returns ? An empirical investigation," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2001016, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    14. Greenwood, Jeremy & Krusell, Per, 2007. "Growth accounting with investment-specific technological progress: A discussion of two approaches," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1300-1310, May.
    15. Charles R. Hulten, 2009. "Growth Accounting," NBER Working Papers 15341, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2002. "Information Technology and the U.S. Productivity Revival: What Do the Industry Data Say?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1559-1576, December.
    17. Diego Martínez, y José L. Torres & Jesús Rodríguez-López & José L. Torres, 2008. "Productivity growth and technological change in Europe and us," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2008/12, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    18. Comin, D., 2000. "An Uncertainty-Driven Theory of the Productivity Slowdown: Manufacturing," Working Papers 00-16, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    19. Ricardo Azevedo Araujo & Gilberto Tadeu Lima, 2008. "Investment-Specific Technological Change, Investment Sectoral Allocation and Human Capital Accumulation in a Model of Export-Led Growth," Anais do XXXVI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 36th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 200807211332520, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    20. Jorge Durán & Omar Licandro & Luis A. Puch, 2006. "Sobre la medición del crecimiento económico en presencia de progreso técnico incorporado," Working Papers 2006-24, FEDEA.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Technological change; productivity; adjustment cost; information technology;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:5:y:2002:i:2:p:443-469. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Christian Zimmermann (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.