Information Technology and the U.S. Economy
69 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2001
Date Written: January 2001
The resurgence of the American economy since 1995 has outrun all but the most optimistic expectations. Economic forecasting models have been seriously off track and growth projections have been revised to reflect a more sanguine outlook only recently. It is not surprising that the unusual combination of more rapid growth and slower inflation in the 1990's has touched off a strenuous debate among economists about whether improvements in America's economic performance can be sustained.
The starting point for the economic debate is the thesis that the 1990's are a mirror image of the 1970's, when an unfavorable series of "supply shocks" led to stagflation -- slower growth and higher inflation. In this view, the development of information technology (IT) is one of a series of positive, but temporary, shocks. The competing perspective is that IT has produced a fundamental change in the U.S. economy, leading to a permanent improvement in growth prospects.
JEL Classification: EO
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation