Why Information Should Influence Productivity
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Information
Marshall W. Van Alstyne
Boston University - Department of Management Information Systems; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School
March 18, 2004
MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4680-08
After offering a brief historical overview, this article presents a broad set of hypotheses in an effort to connect information to productivity. There are three contributions from this work. First, it distills observations from a diverse literature as prelude to exploring these theories empirically. Second, it applies two concrete models of information value, relating them to the economic definition of productivity, while considering how network structure influences information flow. Third, examples from an ongoing empirical study illustrate each hypothesis to give it practical significance. Interested readers may also test precise interpretations of these theories in an online simulation environment of networked societies.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30
Keywords: information technology, productivity, information economics, social networks, search
JEL Classification: D24, D8, L23, L86, M10working papers series
Date posted: January 24, 2008 ; Last revised: October 28, 2008
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