IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

General Purpose Technologies: A Survey, a Critique and Future Research Directions

  • Sadaf Bashir

    ()

  • Bert Sadowski

    ()

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://cms.tm.tue.nl/Ecis/Files/papers/wp2014/wp1402.pdf
File Function: Version February 2014
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies in its series Working Papers with number 14-02.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Feb 2014
Date of revision: Feb 2014
Handle: RePEc:ein:tuecis:1402
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.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Francesco Quatraro, 2011. "ICT Capital and Services Complementarities. The Italian Evidence," Post-Print halshs-00727611, HAL.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.).
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Danielle Galliano & Pascale Roux & Nicolas Souli�, 2011. "ICT intensity of use and the geography of firms," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 43(1), pages 67-86, January.
  13. Concetta Castiglione, 2012. "Technical efficiency and ICT investment in Italian manufacturing firms," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(14), pages 1749-1763, May.
  14. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Trajtenberg, M., 1995. "General purpose technologies 'Engines of growth'?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 83-108, January.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Bronwyn H. Hall & Beethika Khan, 2004. "Adoption of New Technology," Development and Comp Systems 0401001, EconWPA.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Haller, Stefanie & Siedschlag, Iulia, 2008. "Determinants of ICT Adoption: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," Papers DYNREG29, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. Mirko Draca & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2006. "Productivity and ICT: A Review of the Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp0749, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  31. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin Hitt, 1996. "Paradox Lost? Firm-Level Evidence on the Returns to Information Systems Spending," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(4), pages 541-558, April.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

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 you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.