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The internet as a general-purpose technology: firm-level evidence from around the world

George Clarke, Christine Zhenwei Qiang and Lixin Xu

No 7192, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: This paper uses firm-level data to assess whether telecommunication services are general-purpose technologies (technologies that benefit a large segment of the economy and have long-lasting effect). It finds that only Internet services are so: firm growth and productivity are much higher when Internet access is greater and when firms use the Internet more intensively; and Internet access benefits firms in high- and low-tech industries, firms of all sizes, and exporter and non-exporter firms. Small firms appear to benefit more from the Internet than large firms do. In contrast, fixed-line and cellular services are not robustly linked to firm performance.

Keywords: Technology Industry; E-Business; ICT Policy and Strategies; Telecommunications Infrastructure; Microfinance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-02-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec and nep-sbm
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (29)

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