Knowledge, Technology and Economic Growth: Recent Evidence from OECD Countries

38 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2000

See all articles by Andrea Bassanini

Andrea Bassanini

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Stefano Scarpetta

OECD, Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Ignazio Visco

Bank of Italy

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Date Written: October 2000

Abstract

In this paper we present an international comparison of growth trends in the OECD countries, with a special attention to developments in labour productivity - allowing for human capital accumulation - and multifactor productivity (MFP) - allowing for changes in the composition of fixed capital. An attempt is also made to identify both the embodied (in particular in ICT equipment) and disembodied components of technical progress. The possible relation between improvements in MFP and the accumulation of knowledge (as proxied by R&D expenditures) is discussed, and some tentative policy considerations are advanced, mainly with reference to general framework conditions that might have a bearing in fostering technological changes.

The main conclusions are that some "traditional" factors lay behind the disparities in growth patterns across the OECD countries. In particular, they refer to the ability of countries to employ their labour force. There also seem to be some new factors behind growth performance, especially in connection with the diffusion of ICT and related increases in MFP growth rates in the United States. However, it is too early to say whether, even in the United States, the more recent pick-up in the (disembodied) component of MFP may also be related to the presence of spillover and network effects.

Keywords: Economic growth, productivity, investment, general purpose technologies

JEL Classification: N10, O47

Suggested Citation

Bassanini, Andrea and Scarpetta, Stefano and Visco, Ignazio, Knowledge, Technology and Economic Growth: Recent Evidence from OECD Countries (October 2000). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=246375 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.246375

Andrea Bassanini

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Stefano Scarpetta (Contact Author)

OECD, Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Ignazio Visco

Bank of Italy ( email )

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