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The economic effects of information technology: firm level evidence from the italian case

Employing a large data set of manufacturing firms the paper tries to assess the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on productivity growth in Italy and to investigate the differences in ICT adoption between North and South of the country. Not all firms invest in ICT and skills, or better to say, not at the same rate. This situation is found to be at the base of the broad productivity variance across the sample. In Italy performance asymmetry has a strong territorial identity since in the North firms invest more in ICT and ICT complements relatively to the South which appears to be rather backwards. A standard regression methodology is employed to calculate the growth rate of productivity and the impact of ICT adoption on it. We then focus on the different matching between human capital and ICT adoption in the two areas. Our findings support the idea that using ICT has beneficial effects on overall productivity growth. Moreover, the use of ICT can help firms in the South to catch up relatively the northern ones, provided that they employ more skilled workers.

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Paper provided by Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia in its series Working Paper CRENoS with number 200114.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:200114
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  1. Matteo Bugamelli & Patrizio Pagano, 2004. "Barriers to investment in ICT," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(20), pages 2275-2286.
  2. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 1997. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 342-62, June.
  3. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin Hitt, 1997. "Information Technology as a Factor of Production: The Role of Differences Among Firms," Working Paper Series 201, MIT Center for Coordination Science.
  4. Andrea Bassanini & Stefano Scarpetta & Ignazio Visco, 2000. "Knowledge technology and economic growth: recent evidence from OECD countries," Working Paper Research 06, National Bank of Belgium.
  5. Robert J. Gordon, 2000. "Does the "New Economy" Measure up to the Great Inventions of the Past?," NBER Working Papers 7833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  7. Kevin J. Stiroh & Dale W. Jorgenson, 1999. "Information Technology and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 109-115, May.
  8. Barro, Robert J, 1999. " Notes on Growth Accounting," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 119-37, June.
  9. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  10. 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.
  11. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, And The Demand For Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376, February.
  12. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  13. Vincenzo Atella & Beniamino Quintieri, 1998. "Productivity Growth and the Effects of Recessions," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 57(3-4), pages 359-386, December.
  14. Jorgenson, Dale W., 1966. "The Embodiment Hypothesis," Scholarly Articles 3403063, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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