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.



The Decision to Adopt Information and Communication Technologies

Firm-level Evidence for Switzerland

The paper aims, firstly, at explaining the decision of firms to adopt ICT. To this end, we present econometric estimates of a basic and extended version of a model of adoption, where the second approach investigates the role of new workplace organisation in adoption decisions. The second goal of the analysis is to derive from the model estimates a set of policy recommendations. The empirical analysis of the adoption decision yields a quite robust pattern of explanation, which is largely in line with theory. Estimation of the extended model shows that the introduction of new work practices favours the adoption of ICT; however, we also find evidence for the reverse relationship, indicating that ICT adoption and organisational change are, to some extent, complements. Based on the explanatory part of the study, we identified six areas of policies suited to promoting the adoption of ICT: enhancing the human capital base of the economy, enhancing the flexibility of the labour market, securing more intensive competition, fostering innovative activities, increasing macroeconomic stability, and improving the regulatory framework for e-business. The results thus support a framework-oriented policy design rather than a more activist policy orientation....


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