Information Technology, Research & Development, or Both? What Really Drives A Nation's Productivity
To what extent are the productivity spillovers of information technology related to R&D activity? Do these factors distinctly affect economic growth, or does the IT impact merely reflect the embodiment of R&D-driven technical progress? Based on country-level data, this work shows that both forms of technically advanced capital (R&D and IT) matter for long-run productivity growth. We control for either the domestic specialization in digital productions or import penetration of high-tech goods. In any case, the national endowment of IT assets emerges as a robust source of spillovers. It is also shown that the R&D base of the domestic producers of IT goods is a fundamental driver of productivity for the industrialized countries. In terms of TFP gains, a low degree of industry specialization in information technology can hardly be compensated by a country's trade openness, ie importing R&D-intensive (IT) goods from abroad. This contrasts to what occurs for less advanced productions.
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