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Telecommunications Infrastructure And Economic Development: A Simultaneous Approach

  • Röller, Lars-Hendrik
  • Waverman, Leonard

This paper investigates how telecommunications infrastructure affects economic growth. This issue is important and has received considerable attention in the popular press concerning the creation of the 'information superhighway' and its potential impacts on the economy. We use evidence from 21 OECD countries over a twenty-year period to examine the impacts that telecommunications developments may have had. We estimate a structural model, which endogenizes telecommunication investment by specifying a micro-model of supply and demand for telecommunication investments. The micro-model is then jointly estimated with the macro-growth equation. After controlling for country-specific fixed effects, we find evidence of a significant positive causal link, especially when a critical mass of telecommunications infrastructure is present. Interestingly, the critical mass appears to be at a level of telecommunications infrastructure that is near universal service.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2399.

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Date of creation: Mar 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2399
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  1. Danny Quah, 1992. "Empirical cross-section dynamics in economic growth," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 75, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Cadot, Olivier & Röller, Lars-Hendrik & Stephan, Andreas, 1999. "A Political Economy Model of Infrastructure Allocation: An Empirical Assessment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2336, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Endogenous Innovation in the Theory of Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 23-44, Winter.
  4. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, . "How Strongly Do Developing Countries Benefit from Equipment Investment?," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _108, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
  5. Norton, Seth W, 1992. "Transaction Costs, Telecommunications, and the Microeconomics of Macroeconomic Growth," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 175-96, October.
  6. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, . "Equipment Investment and Economic Growth," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _122, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
  7. Frank R. Lichtenberg, 1993. "The Output Contributions of Computer Equipment and Personnel: A Firm- Level Analysis," NBER Working Papers 4540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Shane M. Greenstein & Pablo T. Spiller, 1996. "Estimating the Welfare Effects of Digital Infrastructure," NBER Working Papers 5770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hardy, Andrew P., 1980. "The role of the telephone in economic development," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 278-286, December.
  10. Alicia H. Munnell, 1992. "Policy Watch: Infrastructure Investment and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 189-198, Fall.
  11. Quah, Danny, 1993. " Galton's Fallacy and Tests of the Convergence Hypothesis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 427-43, December.
  12. Leff, Nathaniel H, 1984. "Externalities, Information Costs, and Social Benefit-Cost Analysis for Economic Development: An Example from Telecommunications," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages 255-76, January.
  13. John G. Fernald, 1999. "Roads to Prosperity? Assessing the Link between Public Capital and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 619-638, June.
  14. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Gramlich, Edward M, 1994. "Infrastructure Investment: A Review Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1176-96, September.
  16. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 1994. "Public-Sector Capital and the Productivity Puzzle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 12-21, February.
  17. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 1993. "State-specific estimates of state and local government capital," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 185-209, April.
  18. Garcia-Mila, Teresa & McGuire, Therese J., 1992. "The contribution of publicly provided inputs to states' economies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 229-241, June.
  19. David Aschauer, 1988. "Is public expenditure productive?," Staff Memoranda 88-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  20. Greenstein, Shane M & Spiller, Pablo T, 1995. "Modern Telecommunications Infrastructure and Economic Activity: An Empirical Investigation," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(4), pages 647-65.
  21. Pereira, Alfredo M. & de Frutos, Rafael Flores, 1999. "Public Capital Accumulation and Private Sector Performance," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 300-322, September.
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