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More bits - more bucks? Measuring the impact of broadband internet on firm performance

  • Bertschek, Irene
  • Cerquera, Daniel
  • Klein, Gordon J.

The paper provides empirical evidence for the causal impact of broadband Internet on firms' labour productivity and realised process and product innovations. The analysis refers to the early phase of DSL expansion in Germany from 2001 to 2003, when roughly 60 percent of the German firms already used broadband Internet. Identification relies on instrumental variable estimation taking advantage of information on the availability of DSL broadband at the postal code level. The results show that broadband Internet has no impact on firms' labour productivity, whereas it exhibits a positive and significant impact on their innovation activity.

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Paper provided by Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) in its series DICE Discussion Papers with number 86.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:86
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  1. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, And The Demand For Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376, February.
  2. Bettina Peters, 2009. "Persistence of innovation: stylised facts and panel data evidence," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 226-243, April.
  3. Bart van Ark & Mary O'Mahoney & Marcel P. Timmer, 2008. "The Productivity Gap between Europe and the United States: Trends and Causes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 25-44, Winter.
  4. Trajtenberg, M. & Bresnahan, T.F., 1992. "General Purpose Technologies: "Engines of Growth"," Papers 16-92, Tel Aviv.
  5. Rachel Griffith & Elena Huergo & Jacques Mairesse & Bettina Peters, 2006. "Innovation and Productivity Across Four European Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(4), pages 483-498, Winter.
  6. Röller, Lars-Hendrik & Waverman, Leonard, 2000. "Telecommunications Infrastructure And Economic Development: A Simultaneous Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 2399, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Dale W. Jorgenson & Mun S. Ho & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2007. "A retrospective look at the U.S. productivity growth resurgence," Staff Reports 277, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. Holt, Lynne & Jamison, Mark, 0. "Broadband and contributions to economic growth: Lessons from the US experience," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10-11), pages 575-581, November.
  9. Chris Forman & Avi Goldfarb & Shane Greenstein, 2012. "The Internet and Local Wages: A Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 556-75, February.
  10. Flaig, Gebhard & Stadler, Manfred, 1994. "Success Breeds Success. The Dynamics of the Innovation Process," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 55-68.
  11. Anusua Datta & Sumit Agarwal, 2004. "Telecommunications and economic growth: a panel data approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(15), pages 1649-1654.
  12. Tobias Kretschmer, 2012. "Information and Communication Technologies and Productivity Growth: A Survey of the Literature," OECD Digital Economy Papers 195, OECD Publishing.
  13. Mirko Draca & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2006. "Productivity and ICT: a review of the evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4561, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. Hardy, Andrew P., 1980. "The role of the telephone in economic development," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 278-286, December.
  15. Cronin, Francis J. & Parker, Edwin B. & Colleran, Elisabeth K. & Gold, Mark A., 1991. "Telecommunications infrastructure and economic growth : An analysis of causality," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 529-535, December.
  16. Koutroumpis, Pantelis, 2009. "The economic impact of broadband on growth: A simultaneous approach," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 471-485, October.
  17. Duggal, Vijaya G. & Saltzman, Cynthia & Klein, Lawrence R., 2007. "Infrastructure and productivity: An extension to private infrastructure and it productivity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 485-502, October.
  18. Polder, Michael & Van Leeuwen, George & Mohnen, Pierre & Raymond, Wladimir, 2010. "Product, process and organizational innovation: drivers, complementarity, and productivity effects," MPRA Paper 23719, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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