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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 the economic performance of German firms. Performance is measured in terms of 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 ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 11-032.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:11032
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  1. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Trajtenberg, M., 1995. "General purpose technologies 'Engines of growth'?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 83-108, January.
  2. Michael Polder & George van Leeuwen & Pierre Mohnen & Wladimir Raymond, 2010. "Product, Process and Organizational Innovation: Drivers, Complementarity and Productivity Effects," CIRANO Working Papers 2010s-28, CIRANO.
  3. 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.
  4. Koutroumpis, Pantelis, 2009. "The economic impact of broadband on growth: A simultaneous approach," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 471-485, October.
  5. Bettina Peters, 2006. "Persistence of Innovation Stylised Facts and Panel Data Evidence," DRUID Working Papers 06-30, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  6. Rachel Griffith & Elena Huergo & Jacques Mairesse & Bettina Peters, 2006. "Innovation and Productivity across Four European Countries," NBER Working Papers 12722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lars-Hendrik Röller & Leonard Waverman, 1996. "Telecommunications Infrastructure and Economic Development: A Simultaneous Approach," CIG Working Papers FS IV 96-16, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  8. Tobias Kretschmer, 2012. "Information and Communication Technologies and Productivity Growth: A Survey of the Literature," OECD Digital Economy Papers 195, OECD Publishing.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Mirko Draca & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2006. "Productivity and ICT: A Review of the Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp0749, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  12. Flaig, Gebhard & Stadler, Manfred, 1994. "Success Breeds Success. The Dynamics of the Innovation Process," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 55-68.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 1999. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Anusua Datta & Sumit Agarwal, 2004. "Telecommunications and economic growth: a panel data approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(15), pages 1649-1654.
  18. Hardy, Andrew P., 1980. "The role of the telephone in economic development," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 278-286, December.
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