The Internet as a General-Purpose Technology: Firm-Level Evidence from Around the World
11 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2017
Date Written: February 1, 2015
This paper uses firm-level data to assess whether telecommunication services are general-purpose technologies (technologies that benefit a large segment of the economy and have long-lasting effect). It finds that only Internet services are so: firm growth and productivity are much higher when Internet access is greater and when firms use the Internet more intensively; and Internet access benefits firms in high- and low-tech industries, firms of all sizes, and exporter and non-exporter firms. Small firms appear to benefit more from the Internet than large firms do. In contrast, fixed-line and cellular services are not robustly linked to firm performance.
Keywords: Private Sector Development Law, Private Sector Economics, Marketing, Information Technology
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