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The Resurgence of Growth in the Late 1990s: Is Information Technology the Story?

51 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2000  

Stephen D. Oliner

American Enterprise Institute

Daniel E. Sichel

Wellesley College; NBER

Date Written: March 17, 2000

Abstract

The performance of the U.S. economy over the past several years has been remarkable, including a rebound in labor productivity growth after nearly a quarter century of sluggish gains. To assess the role of information technology in the recent rebound, this paper re-examines the growth contribution of computers and related inputs with the same neoclassical framework that we have used in earlier work. Our results indicate that the contribution to productivity growth from the use of information technology - including computer hardware, software, and communication equipment - surged in the second half of the 1990s. In addition, technological advance in the production of computers appears to have contributed importantly to the speed-up in productivity growth. All in all, we estimate that the use of information technology and the production of computers accounted for about two-thirds of the 1 percentage point step-up in productivity growth between the first and second halves of the decade. Thus, to answer the question posed in the title of this paper, information technology largely is the story.

Keywords: growth, productivity, computers, information technology, investment

JEL Classification: D24, E22, E23, O47

Suggested Citation

Oliner, Stephen D. and Sichel, Daniel E., The Resurgence of Growth in the Late 1990s: Is Information Technology the Story? (March 17, 2000). FEDS Working Paper No. 2000-20. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=233139 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.233139

Stephen D. Oliner (Contact Author)

American Enterprise Institute ( email )

1150 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
United States
2024195205 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.aei.org/scholar/stephen-d-oliner/

Daniel E. Sichel

Wellesley College ( email )

106 Central St.
Wellesley, MA 02181
United States

NBER ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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