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Is Human Capital the Key to the IT Productivity Paradox?


  • Mellander, Erik

    () (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

  • Savvidiou, Eleni

    () (Uppsala University)

  • Gunnarsson, Gudmundur

    () (Mälardalen's University College)


Unlike previous analyses, we consider (i) that IT may affect productivity growth both directly and indirectly, through human capital interactions, and (ii) possible externalities in the use of IT. Examining, hypothetically, the statistical consequences of erroneously disregarding (i) and (ii) we shed light on the small or negative growth effects found in early U.S. studies, as well as the positive impacts reported recently. Our empirical analysis uses a 14-industry panel for Swedish manufacturing 1986-95. We find that human capital developments made the average effect of IT essentially zero in 1986 and steadily increasing thereafter, and, also, generated large differences in growth effects across industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Mellander, Erik & Savvidiou, Eleni & Gunnarsson, Gudmundur, 2001. "Is Human Capital the Key to the IT Productivity Paradox?," Working Paper Series 551, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0551

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    Cited by:

    1. Savvidou, Eleni, 2003. "The Relationship Between Skilled Labor and Technical Change," Working Paper Series 2003:27, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    2. HÃ¥kanson, Christina & Johanson, Satu & Mellander, Erik, 2003. "Employer-Sponsored Training in Stabilisation and Growth Policy Perspectives," Working Paper Series 592, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

    More about this item


    IT-human Capital Complementarity; New Growth Theory; Applied Econometrics;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General


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