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Computer Network Use and Firms' Productivity Performance: The United States vs. Japan

  • B.K. Atrostic
  • Kazuyuki Motohashi
  • Sang Nguyen

This paper examines the relationship between computer network use and firms’ productivity performance, using micro-data of the United States and Japan. To our knowledge, this is the first comparative analysis using firm-level data for the manufacturing sector of both countries. We find that the links between IT and productivity differ between U.S. and Japanese manufacturing. Computer networks have positive and significant links with labor productivity in both countries. However, that link is roughly twice as large in the U.S. as in Japan. Differences in how businesses use computers have clear links with productivity for U.S. manufacturing, but not in Japan. For the United States, the coefficients of the intensity of network use are positive and increase with the number of processes. Coefficients of specific uses of those networks are positive and significant. None of these coefficients are significant for Japan. Our findings are robust to alternative econometric specifications. They also are robust to expanding our sample from single-unit manufacturing firms, which are comparable in the two data sets, to the entire manufacturing sector in each country, as well as to the wholesale and retail sector of Japan.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2008/CES-WP-08-30.pdf
File Function: First version, 2008
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 08-30.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:08-30
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  1. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2000. "The resurgence of growth in the late 1990s: is information technology the story?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-20, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Lisa M Lynch & Sandra E Black, 2002. "How to Compete: The Impact of Workplace Practices and Information Technology on Productivity," Working Papers 02-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Motohashi, Kazuyuki, 2007. "Firm-level analysis of information network use and productivity in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 121-137, March.
  4. Robert Mcguckin & Mary Streitwieser & Mark Doms, 1998. "The Effect Of Technology Use On Productivity Growth," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 1-26.
  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. Dale W. Jorgenson & Kazuyuki Motohashi, 2003. "Economic Growth of Japan and the United States in the Information Age," Discussion papers 03015, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  7. B. K. Atrostic & Sang V. Nguyen, 2005. "It and Productivity in U.S. Manufacturing: Do Computer Networks Matter?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 493-506, July.
  8. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2000. "Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 23-48, Fall.
  9. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2005. "Measuring Organizational Capital in the New Economy," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Capital in the New Economy, pages 205-236 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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