General Purpose Technologies: A Survey, a Critique and Future Research Directions
Since Bresnahan and Trajitenberg’s original 1995 article on ‘General Purpose Technology (GPT): Engines of Growth’, the concept of GPT has slowly but steadily influenced the literature on business ICT (information and communication technology) adoption. In considering business ICT, within the framework of GPT allows to focus on the externalities in ICT adoption which poses challenges for policy and society as a whole. In the literature, these externality benefits of business ICT have rarely been examined. In this context, the article provides a survey of recently published empirical studies (from 2004 to 2013) citing the original article of Bresnahan and Trajenberg. In using the science citation index and citations derived from Google Scholar, we found 1090 articles fulfilling these criteria; from these articles just 57 studies provided some empirical estimation of the productivity impact of ICT. Our survey indicates if GPT refers to whole range of ICT, this might generate misleading results. In general, our results indicate a shift in the discussion on GPT focusing on business ICT. The literature demonstrates that - with the availability of better data - increasingly a better distinction between infrastructure technologies and applications should be used. While infrastructure technologies are uniformly adopted among small and large enterprises, the adoption of applications is a more complex phenomenon. Although some authors argue that there is a productivity impact of ICT, this impact is mediated by employment, wage and size variables. In particular, the adoption of business ICT within small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has rarely been examined.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2014|
|Date of revision:||Feb 2014|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Tema Building 1.40, PO Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven|
Phone: (+31) (0)40 247 5938
Fax: (+31) (0)40 247 2607
Web page: http://ecis.ieis.tue.nl/welcome
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robert J. Gordon, 2012. "Is U.S. Economic Growth Over? Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds," NBER Working Papers 18315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Sophia P Dimelis & Sotiris K Papaioannou, 2010. "FDI and ICT Effects on Productivity Growth: A Comparative Analysis of Developing and Developed Countries," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(1), pages 79-96, February.
- Tommaso Ciarli & Roberta Rabellotti, 2007. "ICT in Industrial Districts: An Empirical Analysis on Adoption, Use and Impact," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 277-303.
- Christian Le Bas & Frédéric Miribel, 2005. "The agglomeration economies associated with information technology activities: an empirical study of the US economy," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 343-363, April.
- Forman, Chris & Goldfarb, Avi & Greenstein, Shane, 2005. "How did location affect adoption of the commercial Internet? Global village vs. urban leadership," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 389-420, November.
- Robert J. Gordon, 1999. "U.S. Economic Growth since 1870: One Big Wave?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 123-128, May.
- Concetta Castiglione, 2012.
"Technical efficiency and ICT investment in Italian manufacturing firms,"
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(14), pages 1749-1763, May.
- Concetta Castiglione, 2011. "Technical Efficiency and ICT Investment in Italian Manufacturing Firms," Post-Print hal-00682262, HAL.
- Daniel J. Wilson, 2004.
"IT and beyond: the contribution of heterogeneous capital to productivity,"
Working Paper Series
2004-13, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Wilson, Daniel J., 2009. "IT and Beyond: The Contribution of Heterogeneous Capital to Productivity," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27, pages 52-70.
- Daniel Wilson, 2004. "IT and Beyond: The Contribution of Heterogenous Capital to Productivity," Working Papers 04-20, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- Ann P. Bartel & Frank R. Lichtenberg, 1985. "The Comparative Advantage of Educated Workers in Implementing New Technology: Some Empirical Evidence," NBER Working Papers 1718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lakshmi Kumar & D. Malathy & L.S. Ganesh, 2011. "The diffusion of ATM technology in Indian banking," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(4), pages 483-500, September.
- Sinan Aral & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lynn Wu, 2012. "Three-Way Complementarities: Performance Pay, Human Resource Analytics, and Information Technology," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(5), pages 913-931, May.
- Vicente, María Rosalía & López, Ana Jesús, 2011. "Assessing the regional digital divide across the European Union-27," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 220-237, April.
- Paul Beaudry & Mark Doms & Ethan Lewis, 2010. "Should the Personal Computer Be Considered a Technological Revolution? Evidence from U.S. Metropolitan Areas," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(5), pages 988 - 1036.
- Francesco Quatraro, 2011.
"ICT Capital and Services Complementarities. The Italian Evidence,"
- Francesco Quatraro, 2011. "ICT capital and services complementarities: the Italian evidence," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(20), pages 2603-2613.
- Danielle Galliano & Pascale Roux & Nicolas Soulié, 2011.
"ICT intensity of use and the geography of firms,"
Environment and Planning A,
Pion Ltd, London, vol. 43(1), pages 67-86, January.
- Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2000.
"The resurgence of growth in the late 1990s: is information technology the story?,"
Finance and Economics Discussion Series
2000-20, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2000. "The Resurgence of Growth in the Late 1990s: Is Information Technology the Story?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 3-22, Fall.
- Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2000. "The resurgence of growth in the late 1990s: is information technology the story?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- P. Guerrieri & M. Luciani & V. Meliciani, 2011.
"The determinants of investment in information and communication technologies,"
Economics of Innovation and New Technology,
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(4), pages 387-403.
- Paolo Guerrieri & Matteo Lucani & Valentina Meliciani, 2010. "The Determinants of Investment in Information and Communication Technologies," Bruges European Economic Research Papers 16, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.
- Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin Hitt, 1996.
"Paradox Lost? Firm-Level Evidence on the Returns to Information Systems Spending,"
INFORMS, vol. 42(4), pages 541-558, April.
- Brynjolfsson, Erik. & Hitt, Lorin M., 1995. "Paradox lost? : firm-level evidence on the returns to information systems spending," Working papers 3786-95., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- S. K. Majumdar & O. Carare & H. Chang, 2010. "Broadband adoption and firm productivity: evaluating the benefits of general purpose technology," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 641-674, June.
- Stefanie Haller & Iulia Siedschlag, 2011.
"Determinants of ICT adoption: evidence from firm-level data,"
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(26), pages 3775-3788.
- Haller, Stefanie & Siedschlag, Iulia, 2008. "Determinants of ICT Adoption: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," Papers DYNREG29, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
- Hall, Bronwyn H. & Khan, Beethika, 2003.
"Adoption of New Technology,"
Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt3wg4p528, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Sarv Devaraj & Rajiv Kohli, 2003. "Performance Impacts of Information Technology: Is Actual Usage the Missing Link?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(3), pages 273-289, March.
- Paola Giuri & Salvatore Torrisi & Natalia Zinovyeva, 2008. "ICT, skills, and organizational change: evidence from Italian manufacturing firms," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 29-64, February.
- Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Trajtenberg, M., 1995.
"General purpose technologies 'Engines of growth'?,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 83-108, January.
- Silvia Fabiani & Fabiano Schivardi & Sandro Trento, 2005. "ICT adoption in Italian manufacturing: firm-level evidence," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 225-249, April.
- Edward Wolff, 2006. "The growth of information workers in the US economy, 1950-2000: the role of technological change, computerization, and structural change," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 221-255.
- Concetta Castiglione & Davide Infante, 2013. "ICT as general purpose technologies: a micro-econometric investigation on Italian firms," International Journal of Trade and Global Markets, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 6(3), pages 225-241.
- Pascale Roux & Danielle Galliano, 2008.
"Organisational motives and spatial effects in internet adoption and intensity of use: evidence from French Industrial firms,"
- Danielle Galliano & Pascale Roux, 2008. "Organisational motives and spatial effects in Internet adoption and intensity of use: evidence from French industrial firms," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 425-448, June.
- Gordon, Robert J, 2000.
"Does the 'New Economy' Measure up to the Great Inventions of the Past?,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2607, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Robert J. Gordon, 2000. "Does the "New Economy" Measure Up to the Great Inventions of the Past?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 49-74, Fall.
- 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.
- Mirko Draca & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2006.
"Productivity and ICT: a review of the evidence,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
4561, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- 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.
- David Gago & Luis Rubalcaba, 2007. "Innovation and ICT in service firms: towards a multidimensional approach for impact assessment," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 25-44, February.
- Dimelis, Sophia P. & Papaioannou, Sotiris K., 2011. "ICT growth effects at the industry level: A comparison between the US and the EU," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 37-50, March.
- 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376.
- Prieger, James E., 2013. "The broadband digital divide and the economic benefits of mobile broadband for rural areas," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 483-502.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ein:tuecis:1402. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Carolina Castaldi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.