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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.

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ICT, Innovation and Business Performance in Services

Evidence for Germany and the Netherlands

Using broadly comparable panel data for German and Dutch firms in services, this paper analyses the importance of ICT capital deepening and innovation for productivity. We employ a model that takes into account that innovation and ICT use may be complementary. The results show that the contribution of ICT-capital deepening is raised when firms combine ICT use and technological innovations on a more permanent basis. Moreover, the joint impact of ICT use and permanent technological innovation on productivity appears to be of the same order of magnitude in the two countries. However, the direct impact of innovation on multi-factor productivity (MFP) seems to be more robust for Germany than for the Netherlands...

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