The Economic Impact of ICT

Measurement, Evidence and Implications

image of The Economic Impact of ICT

Information and communications technology (ICT) has become a key driver of economic growth over the past decade. The rapid diffusion of the Internet, of mobile telephony and of broadband networks all demonstrate how pervasive this technology has become. But how precisely does ICT affect economic growth and the efficiency of firms? And how well can these effects be measured?

This report provides an overview of the economic impact of ICT on economic performance, and the ways through which it can be measured. Using available OECD data, the first part of the book examines the available measures of ICT diffusion, the role and impact of ICT investment and the role of ICT-using and ICT-producing sectors in overall economic performance. The second part of the book offers nine studies for OECD countries, based on detailed firm-level data and prepared by researchers and statisticians from a wide range of OECD countries. These studies use a variety of methods and provide detailed insights on the effects of ICT in individual countries.



Firm Performance in the Canadian Food Processing Sector

The Interaction between ICT, Advanced Technology Use and Human Resource Competencies

This chapter investigates the evolution of industrial structure in the Canadian food processing sector and its relationship to technological change. It uses a dataset combining advanced technology use that is derived from a 1998 special survey on advanced technology use in the food sector that is linked to data on firm performance derived from administrative records covering the period 1988-1997. The chapter first examines the characteristics of firms (size, nationality, emphasis given to training, innovativeness) that adopt advanced technologies and then how the use of these technologies is related to plant performance (growth in productivity and market share). Plants that adopted more advanced technologies enjoyed superior productivity growth. Process control and network communications technologies are particularly important to productivity growth in the foodprocessing sector. Those plants that increased their relative productivity growth and used more advanced technologies saw their market share increase...


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