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Productivity Slowdown and the Role of the ICT in Italy: A Firm Level Analysis


  • Carlo Milana

    () (ISAE - Institute for Studies and Economic Analysis)

  • Alessandro Zeli

    (ISTAT - National Statistical Institute)


This paper presents a firm-level analysis of the productivity slowdown that has been recently observed in Italy. DEA techniques are applied to the firm-level data collected within the annual surveys on the economic accounts of enterprises carried out by the Italian National Statistical Institute (ISTAT). TFP changes over the years 1996-1999 have been measured for 33 industries and have been decomposed into technological change (shift in the production frontier) and change in relative technical inefficiency (due to modifications in the distance of the single firms from the frontier). This decomposition has turned out to be helpful in interpreting the nature of the observed productivity slowdown. Econometric regressions of the firms' TFP changes on a number of variables, including a component factor correlated to ICT, reveal that the information and communication technologies may have a positive and significant impact on TFP in all examined industries during the period.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlo Milana & Alessandro Zeli, 2003. "Productivity Slowdown and the Role of the ICT in Italy: A Firm Level Analysis," ISAE Working Papers 39, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
  • Handle: RePEc:isa:wpaper:39

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Of Computers and Cronyism: What’s the Cause of Italy’s Productivity Problem?
      by Samantha Eyler-Driscoll in Pro-Market on 2017-10-23 23:38:48


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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno Pellegrino & Luigi Zingales, 2017. "Diagnosing the Italian Disease," NBER Working Papers 23964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item


    ICT; Technical Efficiency; Productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity


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