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Information Technology and Research and Development Impacts on Productivity and Skills: Looking for Correlations on French Firm Level Data

  • Jacques Mairesse
  • Nathalie Greenan
  • Agnes Topiol-Bensaid

The main objective of the study is descriptive. We set out to explore the (cor)relations between five IT and R&D indicators and measures of labor and total factor productivity, average wage and skill composition, on four panel data samples of French manufacturing and services firms over the two five years periods 1986-1990 and 1990-1994. Our first indicator is the ratio of the gross book value of office and computing equipment to the gross book value of total physical assets. The four other indicators are respectively constructed using very detailed information on the occupational and skill structure of the firm; they are the shares in the total number of employees of the four categories of specialized workers that we can gather under the headings of 'computer staff', 'electronics staff', 'research staff' and 'analysis staff'. The only significant finding in the time-series dimension of the data is the relation between an increase in all five indicators and a decrease in the share of blue collar-workers, while in the cross-sectional dimension of the data we observe strong evidence of positive correlations with productivity, average wage and the share of administrative managers, as well as negative ones with the share of blue-collar workers.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8075.

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Date of creation: Jan 2001
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Publication status: published as Pohjola, Matti (ed.) Information technology, productivity, and economic growth: International evidence and implications for economic development UNU/WIDER Studies in Development Economics. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8075
Note: PR
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  1. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," NBER Working Papers 5067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Nathalie Greenan & Jacques Mairesse, 1996. "Computers and Productivity in France: Some Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Doms, Mark & Dunne, Timothy & Troske, Kenneth R, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-90, February.
  4. Erik Brynjolfsson & Shinkyu Yang, 1997. "Information Technology and Productivity: A Review of the Literature," Working Paper Series 202, MIT Center for Coordination Science.
  5. Agnès Topiol-Bensaid & Jacques Mairesse & Nathalie Greenan, 1999. "Investissements immatériels, productivité et qualifications," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 50(3), pages 417-430.
  6. Ernst R. Berndt & Catherine J. Morrison & Larry S. Rosenblum, 1992. "High-Tech Capital Formation and Labor Composition in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: An Exploratory Analysis," NBER Working Papers 4010, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed The Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213, November.
  8. Frank R. Lichtenberg, 1993. "The Output Contributions of Computer Equipment and Personnel: A Firm- Level Analysis," NBER Working Papers 4540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 1997. "How to Compete: The Impact of Workplace Practices and Information Technology on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 6120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Brynjolfsson, Erik. & Hitt, Lorin M., 1994. "Information technology as a factor of production : the role of differences among firms," Working papers 3715-94. CCSTR ; #173., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  11. Marie-Claire Villeval & Khaled Bouabdallah & Nathalie Greenan, 1999. "Le biais technologique fondements, mesures et tests empiriques," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 14(1), pages 171-227.
  12. Timothy Dunne & Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Kenneth Troske, 2000. "Wage and Productivity Dispersion in U.S. Manufacturing: The Role of Computer Investment," Working Papers 00-01, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  13. Nathalie Greenan & Agnès Bensaid & Jacques Mairesse, 1997. "Informatisation, recherche et productivité," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 591-603.
  14. Jacques Mairesse & Pierre Mohnen, 1990. "Recherche-Développement et productivité : un survol de la littérature économétrique," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 237(1), pages 99-108.
  15. Éric Maurin & Dominique Goux, 1997. "Le déclin de la demande de travail non qualifié. Une méthode d'analyse empirique et son application au cas de la France," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 48(5), pages 1091-1114.
  16. Bill Lehr & Frank Lichtenberg, 1999. "Information technology and its impact on firm-level productivity: evidence from government and private data sources, 1977-1993," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(2), pages 335-362, April.
  17. Donald Siegel, 1997. "The Impact Of Computers On Manufacturing Productivity Growth: A Multiple-Indicators, Multiple-Causes Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 68-78, February.
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