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Accounting for Growth from A to Z: Review Article on Information Technology and the American Growth Resurgence


  • Daniel E. Sichel


The author reviews the book Information Technology and the American Growth Resurgence by Dale Jorgenson, Mun Ho, and Kevin Stiroh, which provides a detailed analysis of the remarkable rebound in productivity and output growth in the last decade. He notes that the book can be considered a “Users’ Guide” to growth accounting and is highly recommended in this regard. The author reviews in an even-handed manner the critiques that have been put forward of the growth accounting methodology presented by Jorgenson et al. His bottom line is that while many of the critiques make valuable points, there is currently no alternative methodology to growth accounting that offers such a comprehensive framework for assessing the sources of economic growth. He also reviews the story put forward by Jorgenson et al. where in the mid-1990s the constant-quality prices of semiconductors fell substantially, leading to rapid declines in the price of Information Technology (IT) capital goods. Firms responded by substituting capital purchases toward IT capital, resulting in a surge in IT capital deepening and labour productivity growth. One limitation of the book is that it provides no analysis of the post-2000 US productivity growth acceleration, which has taken place in a period when rapid IT capital deepening was not occurring.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel E. Sichel, 2006. "Accounting for Growth from A to Z: Review Article on Information Technology and the American Growth Resurgence," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 12, pages 84-93, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:12:y:2006:7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
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    More about this item


    United States; Growth Accounting; Information Technology; Growth Resurgence; Labour Productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General


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