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'Changing Gear' - Productivity, ICT and Services Industries: Europe and the United States

  • Bart van Ark

    ()

    (University of Groningen, Economic Growth Center, Yale University, and The Conference Board)

  • Robert Inklaar

    ()

    (University of Groningen and The Conference Board)

  • Robert H. McGuckin

    (The Conference Board)

This paper examines cross-country and cross-industry differences in labor productivity performance and their association with ICT. It broadens earlier work with coverage of 52 industries in 16 OECD countries. The analysis suggests that ICT diffusion in Europe is following similar industry patterns to those observed in the U.S., but at a considerably slower pace. The key differences between Europe and the U.S. are in the intensive ICT-using services, with U.S. productivity growth showing a strong acceleration during the second half of the decade, whereas growth stalled in the EU. More specifically, the U.S. showed rapid productivity expansion in retail and wholesale trade and securities, which account for much of the overall U.S.-EU gap in productivity growth since 1995. In the ICT-producing sector, computers and communication equipment showed strong productivity growth and acceleration in virtually all countries, but differences are much bigger across countries for ICT-producing services, such as telecom services.

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File Function: First version, 2002
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Paper provided by The Conference Board, Economics Program in its series Economics Program Working Papers with number 02-02.

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Length: 92 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Jens Froslev Christensen and Peter Maskell (eds.), The Industrial Dynamics of the New Digital Economy, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2003.
Handle: RePEc:cnf:wpaper:0202
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  1. Martin N. Baily & Robert Lawrence, 2001. "Do We Have A New E-Conomy?," NBER Working Papers 8243, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stefano Scarpetta & Andrea Bassanini & Dirk Pilat & Paul Schreyer, 2000. "Economic Growth in the OECD Area: Recent Trends at the Aggregate and Sectoral Level," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 248, OECD Publishing.
  3. Alessandra Colecchia & Paul Schreyer, 2001. "ICT Investment and Economic Growth in the 1990s: Is the United States a Unique Case? A Comparative Study of Nine OECD Countries," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2001/7, OECD Publishing.
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