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ICT and Productivity in Europe and the United States: Where Do the Differences Come From?

Author

Listed:
  • Bart van Ark

    () (University of Groningen and The Conference Board)

  • Robert Inklaar

    () (University of Groningen and The Conference Board)

  • Robert H. McGuckin

    (The Conference Board)

Abstract

In this paper we analyse labour productivity growth in 51 industries in European countries and the United States. Using shift-share techniques we identify the industries in which the U.S. is leading most strongly. With a detailed decomposition analysis we identify whether the sources of the U.S. advantage are due to faster productivity growth, higher industry productivity levels relative to the country aggregate, different employment shares or faster change in employment shares of rapidly growing industries. The results show that U.S. productivity has grown faster than in the EU because of a larger employment share in the ICT producing sector and faster productivity growth in services industries that make intensive use of ICT. Wholesale and retail trade and the financial securities industry account for most of the difference in aggregate productivity growth between the EU and the U.S.

Suggested Citation

  • Bart van Ark & Robert Inklaar & Robert H. McGuckin, 2003. "ICT and Productivity in Europe and the United States: Where Do the Differences Come From?," Economics Program Working Papers 03-05, The Conference Board, Economics Program.
  • Handle: RePEc:cnf:wpaper:0305
    as

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    File URL: http://www.conference-board.org/economics/workingpapers.cfm?pdf=E-0013-03-WP
    File Function: Revised version, 2003
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Trajtenberg, M., 1995. "General purpose technologies 'Engines of growth'?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 83-108, January.
    2. William D. Nordhaus, 2001. "The Progress of Computing," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1324, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    3. 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.
    4. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & C.J. Krizan, 2002. "The Link Between Aggregate and Micro Productivity Growth: Evidence from Retail Trade," NBER Working Papers 9120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:dgr:rugccs:200311 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Oliner, Stephen D. & Sichel, Daniel E., 2003. "Information technology and productivity: where are we now and where are we going?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 477-503, July.
    7. Ark, Bart van & Inklaar, Robert & McGuckin, Robert H., 2003. "ICT and productivity in Europe and the United States," CCSO Working Papers 200311, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
    8. Paul Schreyer, 2000. "The Contribution of Information and Communication Technology to Output Growth: A Study of the G7 Countries," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2000/2, OECD Publishing.
    9. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2002. "Information Technology and the U.S. Productivity Revival: What Do the Industry Data Say?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1559-1576, December.
    10. McGuckin, Robert H & Stiroh, Kevin J, 2001. "Do Computers Make Output Harder to Measure?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 295-321, October.
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    12. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 1-32, March.
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    16. Alessandra Colecchia & Paul Schreyer, 2002. "ICT Investment and Economic Growth in the 1990s: Is the United States a Unique Case? A Comparative Study of Nine OECD Countries," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(2), pages 408-442, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ICT; productivity; services;

    JEL classification:

    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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