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Total factor productivity enablers in the ICT industry: A cross-country firm-level analysis

Ryota Nakatani

Telecommunications Policy, 2021, vol. 45, issue 9

Abstract: Advancements in productivity in the digital economy constitute an important engine for economic growth. What drives productivity dynamics in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector? This study examines the productivity dynamics of ICT firms across countries from the perspective of corporate balance sheets. We study the effects of intangible assets and leverage on productivity growth using firm-level panel data from five industrialized countries. We find that intangible assets positively affect the total factor productivity in the ICT sector. The positive effect of intangible assets on total factor productivity growth is larger for ICT manufacturing firms than for ICT service firms. We also find that leverage has a positive relationship with total factor productivity development in the ICT sector. In addition, our empirical results substantiated that productivity is catching up to the technological frontier. Furthermore, larger firms and/or younger firms generally show higher total factor productivity growth than their peers. Economies of scale are more prominent in the ICT service sector than in the ICT manufacturing sector. Our findings contribute to the understanding of cross-country productivity dynamics in the ICT sector at the firm level in the digital economy.

Keywords: Productivity; Intangible assets; Leverage; Information and communication technology; ICT; Economies of scale; Firm age (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D24 G32 L63 L86 L96 M21 O34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.telpol.2021.102188

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