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The IT Revolution and Southern Europe's Two Lost Decades

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  • Fabiano Schivardi
  • Tom Schmitz

Abstract

Since the middle of the 1990s, productivity growth in Southern Europe has been substantially lower than in other developed countries. In this paper, we argue that this divergence was partly caused by ifficient management practices, which limited Southern Europe's gains from the IT Revolution. To quantify this effect, we build a multi-country general equilibrium model with heterogeneous firms and workers. In our model, the IT Revolution generates divergence for three reasons. First, inefficient management limits Southern firms' productivity gains from IT adoption. Second, IT increases the aggregate importance of management, making its inefficiencies more salient. Third, IT-driven wage increases in other countries stimulate Southern high-skill emigration. We calibrate our model using firm-level evidence, and show that it can account for 28% of Italy's, 39% of Spain's and 67% of Portugal's productivity divergence with respect to Germany between 1995 to 2008. Keywords: TFP, Southern Europe, Divergence, IT Technology adoption, Management. JEL Codes: L23, O33

Suggested Citation

  • Fabiano Schivardi & Tom Schmitz, 2018. "The IT Revolution and Southern Europe's Two Lost Decades," Working Papers 624, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:624
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    Cited by:

    1. Massimo Anelli & Gætano Basso & Giuseppe Ippedico & Giovanni Peri, 2020. "Does Emigration Drain Entrepreneurs?," CESifo Working Paper Series 8388, CESifo.
    2. Gries, Thomas & Naudé, Wim, 2018. "Artificial Intelligence, Jobs, Inequality and Productivity: Does Aggregate Demand Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 12005, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Leaver, Clare & Lemos, Renata & Scur, Daniela, 2019. "Measuring and explaining management in schools: new approaches using public data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 103431, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Gaetano Basso, 2019. "The evolution of the occupational structure in Italy in the last decade," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 478, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    5. Anderton, Robert & Jarvis, Valerie & Labhard, Vincent & Morgan, Julian & Petroulakis, Filippos & Vivian, Lara, 2020. "Virtually everywhere? Digitalisation and the euro area and EU economies," Occasional Paper Series 244, European Central Bank.
    6. Sauvagnat, Julien & Schivardi, Fabiano, 2020. "Are Executives in Short Supply? Evidence from Deaths' Events," CEPR Discussion Papers 14334, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Massimo Anelli & Gaetano Basso & Giuseppe Ippedico & Giovanni Peri, 2019. "Youth Drain, Entrepreneurship and Innovation," NBER Working Papers 26055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Gaetano Basso, 2020. "The Evolution of the Occupational Structure in Italy, 2007–2017," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 152(2), pages 673-704, November.
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    11. Massimo Del Gatto & Fadi Hassan & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2019. "Company Profits in Italy," European Economy - Discussion Papers 2015 - 093, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
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    13. Jacopo Zotti & Rosita Pretaroli & Francesca Severini & Claudio Socci & Giancarlo Infantino, 2020. "Employment incentives and the disaggregated impact on the economy. The Italian case," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 37(3), pages 993-1032, October.
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    JEL classification:

    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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