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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. Dunne, Timothy & Foster, Lucia & Haltiwanger, John C. & Troske, Kenneth, 2002. "Wage and Productivity Dispersion in U.S. Manufacturing: The Role of Computer Investment," IZA Discussion Papers 563, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. repec:oup:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:1:p:253-90 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. repec:oup:restud:v:62:y:1995:i:1:p:53-82 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. 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.
  8. Mark Doms & Ron S. Jarmin & Shawn D. Klimek, 2003. "IT investment and firm performance in U.S. retail trade," Working Paper Series 2003-19, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  9. Goerke, Laszlo & Schnabel, Claus, 2002. "On strike insurance," Discussion Papers 12, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  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. 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.
  12. repec:oup:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:1:p:339-376 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Ron S Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2002. "The Longitudinal Business Database," Working Papers 02-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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