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Long Term Implications of the ICT Revolution: Applying the Lessons of Growth Theory and Growth Accounting

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  • Nicholas Oulton

Abstract

How big a boost to long run growth can countries expect from the ICT revolution? I use the results of growth accounting and the insights from a two-sector growth model to answer this question. The use of a two-sector rather than a one-sector model is required because of the very rapid rate at which the prices of ICT products have fallen in the past and are expected to fall in the future. According to the two-sector model, the main boost to growth comes from ICT use, not ICT production. Even a country which has zero ICT production can benefit via improving terms of trade. In the long run, the falling relative price of ICT products boosts the growth of GDP and consumption by inducing faster accumulation of ICT capital. I quantify this effect on the long run growth rate of 15 European and 4 non-European countries, using data from the EU KLEMS database. The ICT intensity of production (the ICT income share) is much lower in many European countries than it is in the United States or Sweden. Nevertheless the contribution to the long run growth of labour productivity stemming from even the current levels of ICT intensity is substantial: about half a percent per annum on average in the countries studied here. Eventually, the ICT revolution may diffuse more widely so ICT intensity may reach at least the same level as currently in the U.S. or Sweden, which would add a further 0.2 percentage points per annum to long run growth.

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  • Nicholas Oulton, 2010. "Long Term Implications of the ICT Revolution: Applying the Lessons of Growth Theory and Growth Accounting," CEP Discussion Papers dp1027, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1027
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    Cited by:

    1. Oulton, Nicholas, 2012. "Long term implications of the ICT revolution: Applying the lessons of growth theory and growth accounting," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 1722-1736.
    2. Crafts, Nicholas, 2014. "Productivity Growth during the British Industrial Revolution: Revisionism Revisited," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 204, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    3. Hughes, Barry B. & Bohl, David & Irfan, Mohammod & Margolese-Malin, Eli & Solórzano, José R., 2017. "ICT/Cyber benefits and costs: Reconciling competing perspectives on the current and future balance," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 117-130.
    4. Adrian Otoiu & Ramona Bere & Catalin Silvestru, 2017. "An Assessment of the First Round Impact of Innovation Industries on Europe’s Regional Economies," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 19(44), pages 289-289, February.
    5. Bergeaud, A. & Cette, G. & Lecat, R., 2015. "Productivity trends from 1890 to 2012 in advanced countries," Rue de la Banque, Banque de France, issue 07, June..
    6. repec:nsr:escoed:escoe-dp-2017-02 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Gangopadhyay, Kausik & Nishimura, Atsushi & Pal, Rupayan, 2016. "Can the information technology revolution explain the incidence of co-movement of skill premium and stock prices?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 107-120.
    8. Oulton, Nicholas, 2013. "Medium and long run prospects for UK growth in the aftermathof the financial crisis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58239, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Bindseil, Ulrich & Domnick, Clemens & Zeuner, Jörg, 2015. "Critique of accommodating central bank policies and the 'expropriation of the saver' - A review," Occasional Paper Series 161, European Central Bank.
    10. Ronald Ravinesh Kumar & Peter Josef Stauvermann & Syed Jawad Hussain Shahzad, 2017. "Can technology provide a glimmer of hope for economic growth in the midst of chaos? A case of Zimbabwe," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 919-939, March.
    11. Pierre-Richard Agénor & Baris Alpaslan, 2014. "Infrastructure and Industrial Development with Endogenous Skill Acquisition," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 195, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    12. Gilbert Cette, 2014. "Does ICT Remain a Powerful Engine of Growth," Post-Print hal-01463929, HAL.
    13. repec:ecb:ecbops:2010161 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Jerbashian, Vahagn, 2015. "The telecommunications industry and economic growth: How the market structure matters," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, pages 515-523.
    15. Goodridge, PR & Haskel, J & Wallis, G, 2014. "The “C†in ICT: communications capital, spillovers and UK growth," Working Papers 18382, Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School.
    16. Crafts, Nicholas & O’Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj, 2014. "Twentieth Century Growth*This research has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement no. 249546.," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 6, pages 263-346 Elsevier.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Potential output; productivity; ICT; two-sector model; growth accounting; terms of trade;

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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