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IT investment and firm performance in U.S. retail trade

  • Mark E. Doms
  • Ron S. Jarmin
  • Shawn D. Klimek

We examine the relationship between investments in information technology (IT) and two measures of retail firm performance: labor productivity and productivity growth over the 1992 to 1997 period. We use untapped firm and establishment micro data from the Censuses of Retail Trade and the Assets and Expenditures Survey. We show that large firms account for most retail IT investment, employment and establishment growth. We find evidence of a significant relationship between IT investment intensity and productivity growth. We found no evidence of a similar link between IT and growth in the number of establishments operated by retail firms.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2003-19.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2003-19
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  1. G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Eric J. Bartelsman & Mark Doms, 2000. "Understanding productivity: lessons from longitudinal microdata," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Tang, Jianmin & Baldwin, John R. & Jarmin , Ron S., 2002. "The Trend to Smaller Producers in Manufacturing: A Canada/U.S. Comparison," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2002003e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
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