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The Need for Speed: Impacts of Internet Connectivity on Firm Productivity

  • Arthur Grimes

    ()

    (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research & University of Waikato)

  • Cleo Ren

    (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)

  • Philip Stevens

    ()

    (Ministry of Economic Development)

Fast internet access is widely considered to be a productivity-enhancing factor. Internet access speeds vary regionally within countries and even within cities. Despite articulate pleas for network upgrades to accelerate internet access, there is little rigorous research quantifying benefits to individual firms that arise from upgraded internet connectivity. We use a large New Zealand micro-survey of firms linked to unit record firm financial data to determine the impact that differing types of internet access have on firm productivity. Propensity score matching is used to control for factors, including the firm’s (lagged) productivity, that determine firms’ internet access choices. Having matched firms, we examine the productivity impacts that arise when a firm adopts different types (speeds) of internet connectivity. Broadband adoption is found to boost productivity but we find no productivity differences across broadband type. The results provide the first firm-level estimates internationally of the degree of productivity gains sourced from upgraded internet access.

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Paper provided by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in its series Working Papers with number 09_15.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtu:wpaper:09_15
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  1. B. K. Atrostic & Sang V. Nguyen, 2005. "It and Productivity in U.S. Manufacturing: Do Computer Networks Matter?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 493-506, July.
  2. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1351-1408, November.
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  5. Arthur Grimes & Cleo Ren & Philip Stevens, 2009. "The Need for Speed: Impacts of Internet Connectivity on Firm Productivity," Working Papers 09_15, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  6. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2005. "Some Practical Guidance for the Implementation of Propensity Score Matching," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 485, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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  11. Fabling, Richard & Grimes, Arthur & Stevens, Philip, 2008. "A Comparison of Qualitative and Quantitative Firm Performance Measures," Occasional Papers 08/4, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
  12. Mika Maliranta & Petri Rouvinen, 2006. "Informational mobility and productivity: Finnish evidence," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(6), pages 605-616.
  13. Chris Forman, 2005. "The Corporate Digital Divide: Determinants of Internet Adoption," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(4), pages 641-654, April.
  14. Forman, Chris & Goldfarb, Avi & Greenstein, Shane, 2005. "How did location affect adoption of the commercial Internet? Global village vs. urban leadership," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 389-420, November.
  15. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  16. Thomas N. Hubbard, 2000. "The Demand For Monitoring Technologies: The Case Of Trucking," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 533-560, May.
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