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IT in the European Union: driving productivity divergence?

Listed author(s):
  • Timmer, Marcel P.
  • Ypma, Gerard
  • Ark, Bart van der

    (Groningen University)

This paper analyses the contributions of IT-capital deepening and total factor productivity growth (TFP) in IT-production on aggregate labour productivity growth patterns within the European Union in comparison with the US. We find that differences in the direct effects of IT almost fully explain the US lead in labour productivity growth over the EU aggregate over the period 1995-2001. However differences in the direct effects of IT are by no means the sole determinants of the widening of the "Atlantic Divide", neither the main cause of divergent labour productivity growth patterns within Europe. Non-IT capital deepening and non-IT TFP growth were major contributors to continued or even accelerating growth in small economies such as Austria, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Sweden. In Finland, Sweden and especially Ireland this was augmented by high contributions from IT, which were even higher than in the US. At the same time, decelerating labour productivity growth in major European countries such as France, Germany, Italy and the UK was mainly due to declining contributions of non-IT capital deepening and non-IT TFP growth compared to the period 1980-1995.

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File URL: http://irs.ub.rug.nl/ppn/258660295
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Paper provided by Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen in its series GGDC Research Memorandum with number 200363.

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Date of creation: 2003
Handle: RePEc:gro:rugggd:200363
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  1. MartinNeil Baily & Robert Z. Lawrence, 2001. "Do We Have a New E-conomy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 308-312, May.
  2. Paul Schreyer, 2000. "The Contribution of Information and Communication Technology to Output Growth: A Study of the G7 Countries," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2000/2, OECD Publishing.
  3. Francesco Daveri, 2002. "The New Economy in Europe, 1992--2001," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 345-362.
  4. Carol Corrado, 2003. "Industrial production and capacity utilization: the 2002 historical and annual revision," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Apr, pages 151-176.
  5. David, Paul A, 1990. "The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 355-361, May.
  6. Dale W. Jorgenson & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2000. "Raising the Speed Limit: U.S. Economic Growth in the Information Age," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 125-236.
  7. Andrea Bassanini & Stefano Scarpetta, 2002. "Growth, Technological Change, and ICT Diffusion: Recent Evidence from OECD Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 324-344.
  8. 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.
  9. Schreyer, Paul, 2002. "Computer Price Indices and International Growth and Productivity Comparisons," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(1), pages 15-31, March.
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