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 Diffusion of ICT in OECD Economies

This chapter examines the diffusion of ICT across OECD countries. The chapter uses recently developed official statistics that provide a sound basis for international comparisons. Certain ICT technologies, such as the Internet, have now diffused to almost all businesses of more than 10 employees in several OECD countries. Others, such as broadband technologies, are at an earlier stage of the diffusion process. The chapter also shows that large differences in the uptake of ICT technologies persist across the OECD, both between and within OECD countries. Cost differentials and structural differences are among the factors explaining these differences. The state of the business environment in different OECD countries is also an important factor as it affects the degree to which firms can take full benefit from the potential offered by ICT...


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