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What determines productivity performance of telecommunications services industry? A cross-country analysis


  • Eric C. Y. Ng


This article investigates the key factors that determine the productivity performance of telecommunications services industry. A simple theoretical model is used to illustrate that the Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth is attributable to the effects of scale economies, market competition and technical change. We then examine empirically the effect of various factors on the TFP growth in the industry using panel data in 12 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries for the period 1983 through 2003. The empirical results are consistent with the theoretical prediction. A new finding in this article is that higher machinery and equipment (M&E) capital intensity and human capital contribute to higher TFP growth in the telecommunications services industry. The decomposition analysis also suggests that technical change induced by changes in M&E capital intensity and human capital are important sources of productivity performance in the industry across the OECD countries, contributing to about 20--50% and 2--7% of TFP growth, respectively. These findings highlight the importance of improving the conditions for M&E capital investment and the quality of human capital, which in turn could facilitate the adoption of new technologies and enhance the productivity in the industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric C. Y. Ng, 2012. "What determines productivity performance of telecommunications services industry? A cross-country analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(18), pages 2359-2372, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:44:y:2012:i:18:p:2359-2372
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2011.564145

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dostie Benoit & Jayaraman Rajshri, 2012. "Organizational Redesign, Information Technologies and Workplace Productivity," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-41, February.
    2. Nicholas Oulton & Sylaja Srinivasan, 2003. "Capital stocks, capital services, and depreciation: an integrated framework," Bank of England working papers 192, Bank of England.
    3. Wilson, Daniel J., 2009. "IT and Beyond: The Contribution of Heterogeneous Capital to Productivity," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27, pages 52-70.
    4. Paul Conway & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2006. "Product Market Regulation in the Non-Manufacturing Sectors of OECD Countries: Measurement and Highlights," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 530, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bopage Lionel & Sharma Kishor, 2014. "Trade Liberalization and Productivity Performance: Evidence from the Australian Passenger Motor Vehicle Industry," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 14(3-4), pages 1-19, October.

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