Journal Article

Growth, Technological Change, and ICT Diffusion: Recent Evidence from OECD Countries

Andrea Bassanini and Stefano Scarpetta

in Oxford Review of Economic Policy

Published on behalf of The Oxford Review of Economic Policy Ltd

Volume 18, issue 3, pages 324-344
Published in print September 2002 | ISSN: 0266-903X
Published online September 2002 | e-ISSN: 1460-2121 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/18.3.324
Growth, Technological Change, and ICT Diffusion: Recent Evidence from OECD Countries

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In this paper we present an overview of GDP and productivity growth patterns in OECD countries over the past decade, on the basis of harmonized data. Our evidence suggests that fast‐growing countries generally shared three characteristics: improvements in labour utilization; a generalized enhancement in human capital; and rapid shifts in the composition of physical capital towards information and communication technology (ICT) equipment. Particularly, we show that technological change embodied in new ICT capital goods has been a primary source of output and productivity growth in ICT‐using sectors. The international comparison allows relating growth patterns to institutional and policy indicators, thereby offering some preliminary insights into the potential sources of growth disparities. Cross‐country evidence yields some tentative support to the idea that institutional factors affecting competition in the product market are likely to affect productivity patterns, especially in a period of rapid diffusion of a general‐purpose technology (such as ICT).

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Subjects: Economic Development and Growth ; Public Economics ; Political Economy ; Public Policy

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