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Information Technology and Productivity: A Review of the Literature

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  • Erik Brynjolfsson
  • Shinkyu Yang

Abstract

In recent years, the relationship between information technology (IT) and productivity has become a source of debate. In the 1980s and early 1990s, empirical research generally did not significant productivity improvements associated with IT investments. More recently, as new data are identified and new methodologies are applied, several researchers have found evidence that IT is associated not only with improvements in productivity, but also in intermediate measures, consumer surplus, and economic growth. Nonetheless, new questions emerge even as old puzzles fade. This survey reviews the literature, identifies remaining questions, and concludes with recommendations for applications of traditional methodologies to new data sources, as well as alternative, broader metrics of welfare to assess and enhance the benefits of IT.

Suggested Citation

  • Erik Brynjolfsson & Shinkyu Yang, 1997. "Information Technology and Productivity: A Review of the Literature," Working Paper Series 202, MIT Center for Coordination Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:mitccs:202
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    Cited by:

    1. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 1-32, March.
    2. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2002. "Information Technology and the U.S. Productivity Revival: What Do the Industry Data Say?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1559-1576, December.
    3. 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.
    4. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2001. "Is IT Driving the U.S. Productivity Revival?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 2, pages 31-36, Spring.
    5. Jacques Mairesse & Nathalie Greenan & Agnes Topiol-Bensaid, 2001. "Information Technology and Research and Development Impacts on Productivity and Skills: Looking for Correlations on French Firm Level Data," NBER Working Papers 8075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Argandoña, Antonio, 2001. "Nueva economía y el crecimiento económico, La," IESE Research Papers D/437, IESE Business School.
    7. Kevin J. Stiroh & Dale W. Jorgenson, 1999. "Information Technology and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 109-115, May.
    8. Thomas N. Hubbard, 2003. "Information, Decisions, and Productivity: On-Board Computers and Capacity Utilization in Trucking," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1328-1353, September.
    9. Barbara K Atrostic & John Gates & Ron Jarmin, 2000. "Measuring the Electronic Economy: Current Status and Next Steps," Working Papers 00-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    10. Sang-Yong Lee & Kim Lim, 2006. "The impact of M&A and joint ventures on the value of IT and non-IT firms," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 111-123, September.
    11. Fred V. Carstensen & William F. Lott & Stan McMillen, 2003. "The Economic Impact of Connecticut's Information Technology Industry," CCEA Studies 2003-02, University of Connecticut, Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis.
    12. Even Caroli & John Van Reenen, 1999. "Organization, skill and technology: evidence from a panel of British and French establishments," IFS Working Papers W99/23, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    13. José Alberto Bayo-Moriones & Gilberto Carvalho-Vasconcelos & Fernando Lera-López, 2005. "A firm-level analysis of differences between adopters and non-adopters of ICT," ERSA conference papers ersa05p645, European Regional Science Association.
    14. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2003. "Computing Productivity: Firm-Level Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 793-808, November.
    15. Johannes Traxler, 1998. "The Internet, industrial location, and geographic markets," ERSA conference papers ersa98p345, European Regional Science Association.
    16. Hannes Leo, 2001. "ICT Investment and Growth of Output and Productivity," WIFO Working Papers 162, WIFO.

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