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Productivity, Investment in ICT and Market Experimentation: Micro Evidence from Germany and the U.S

  • John Haltiwanger
  • Ron Jarmin
  • Thorsten Schank

In this paper, we examine the relationship between the use of advanced technologies, such as information and communications technologies (ICT), and related business practices and outcomes such as productivity, employment, the skill mix of the workforce and wages using micro data for the U.S. and Germany. . We find support to the idea that U.S. businesses engage in experimentation in a variety of ways not matched by their German counterparts. In particular, there is greater experimentation amongst young US businesses and there is greater experimentation among those actively changing their technology. This experimentation is evidenced in a greater dispersion in productivity and in related key business choices, like the skill mix and Internet access for workers. We also find that the mean impact of adopting new technology is greater in U.S. than in Germany. Putting the pieces together suggests that U.S. businesses choose a higher mean, higher variance strategy in adopting new technology.

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Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 03-06.

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Date of creation: Feb 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:03-06
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  1. Haltiwanger, John & Jarmin, Ron & Schank, Thorsten, 2003. "Productivity, investment in ICT and market experimentation: micro evidence from Germany und the US," Discussion Papers 19, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  2. Shawn D Klimek & Ron S Jarmin & Mark E Doms, 2002. "IT Investment and Firm Performance in U.S. Retail Trade," Working Papers 02-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Eric Bartelsman & Stefano Scarpetta & Fabiano Schivardi, 2003. "Comparative Analysis of Firm Demographics and Survival: Micro-Level Evidence for the OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 348, OECD Publishing.
  4. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, And The Demand For Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376, February.
  5. Timothy Dunne & Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Kenneth Troske, 2000. "Wage and Productivity Dispersion in U.S. Manufacturing: The Role of Computer Investment," Working Papers 00-01, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Kevin M Stolarick, 1999. "Are Some Firms Better at IT? Differing Relationships between Productivity and IT Spending," Working Papers 99-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  7. Ericson, Richard & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
  8. Goerke, Laszlo & Schnabel, Claus, 2002. "On strike insurance," Discussion Papers 12, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  9. Ron S Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2002. "The Longitudinal Business Database," Working Papers 02-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  10. Addison, John T. & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2000. "Die mitbestimmungsfreie Zone aus ökonomischer Sicht," Discussion Papers 1, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  11. Doms, Mark & Dunne, Timothy & Troske, Kenneth R, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-90, February.
  12. Kevin M Stolarick, 1999. "IT Spending and Firm Productivity: Additional Evidence from the Manufacturing Sector," Working Papers 99-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  13. John M. Abowd & John Haltiwanger & Julia I. Lane & Kristin Sandusky, 2001. "Within and Between Firm Changes in Human Capital, Technology, and Productivity Preliminary and incomplete," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2001-03, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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