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Investment-specific technological progress in the United Kingdom

  • Hasan Bakhshi
  • Jens Larsen

This paper analyses the impact of rapid technological change in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector on economic growth. Technological change in the ICT sector leads to a fall in the relative price of ICT goods, which leads firms to invest more heavily in high-tech goods. The approach is to build a dynamic general equilibrium model that is consistent with key stylised facts of the UK economy. The model is used to quantify the contribution to long-run growth of technological progress that is specific to the ICT sector. It is found that technological progress that is specific to the ICT sector might account for around 20%-30% of long-run labour productivity growth. But this conclusion depends crucially on how ICT prices are measured. It is shown that shocks to technological progress that is specific to production of ICT investment goods can have very different macroeconomic implications from a shock that applies to production of all goods. It is demonstrated that a permanent increase in the growth rate of ICT-specific technological progress will increase the investment expenditure share of GDP but lower the aggregate depreciation rate, while an increase in the return to investment in ICT will increase both the expenditure share and the depreciation rate.

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Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 129.

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Date of creation: Apr 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:129
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