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Information Technology and Economic Development: An Introduction to the Research Issues

Matti Pohjola ()

Research Paper from World Institute for Development Economics Research

Abstract: Even in industrial countries, the impact of information technology has not been as deep or pervasive as the debate about the benefits of the global information society sometimes makes it appear. The literature review on the US experience shows that there is neither a 'productivity paradox' nor a substantial 'information payoff' associated with investment in computers or other forms of IT, but they seem to be 'pulling their weight'. This may, however, be a characteristic feature of the US economy in its present stage of development. Modern business information systems are being developed for the needs of large corporations in industrial countries. More research on other countries, developed and developing, is needed before firm policy conclusions can be drawn for economic development. This research should explore the role of information technology both as an intermediate input in production and as a final good in consumption. This paper prepares ground for such work.

Keywords: TECHNOLOGY; INFORMATION; ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O11 O14 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 26 pages
Date: 1998
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