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The economic contribution of the “C” in ICT: Evidence from OECD countries

Peter Goodridge, Jonathan Haskel () and Harald Edquist ()

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2019, vol. 47, issue 4, 867-880

Abstract: Numerous studies have documented the contribution of ICT to growth. Less has been done on the contribution of communications technology, the “C” in ICT. We construct an international dataset of fourteen OECD countries and present contributions to growth for each ICT asset (IT hardware, CT equipment and software) using alternative ICT deflators. Using each country’s deflator we find that the contribution of CT capital deepening to productivity growth is lower in the EU than the US. Thus we ask: is that lower contribution due to a lower rate of CT investment or differing sources and methods for measurement of price change? We find that: (a) there are still considerable disparities in measures of ICT price change across countries; (b) in terms of growth-accounting, price harmonisation has a greater impact on the measured contributions of IT hardware and software in the EU relative to the US, than that of CT equipment; over 1996–2013, harmonising investment prices explains just 15% of the gap in the EU CT contribution relative to the US, compared to 25% for IT hardware; (c) over 1996–2013, CT capital deepening accounted for 0.11% pa (6% as a share) of labour productivity growth (LPG) in the US, compared to 0.03% pa (2.5% of LPG) in the EU-13 when using national accounts deflators; and (d) using OECD harmonised deflators, the figure for the EU-13 is raised to 0.04% pa (4% of LPG).

Keywords: Productivity; Telecommunications; Capital; Investment; Growth; Prices; Growth-accounting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O47 O57 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2019.07.001

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