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General Purpose Technologies

53 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2005  

Boyan Jovanovic

New York University - Department of Economics

Peter L. Rousseau

Vanderbilt University - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 2005

Abstract

Electricity and Information Technology (IT) are perhaps the two most important general purpose technologies (GPTs) to date. We analyze how the U.S. economy reacted to them. The Electricity and IT eras are similar, but also differ in several important ways. Electrification was more broadly adopted, whereas IT seems to be technologically more "revolutionary." The productivity slowdown is stronger in the IT era but the ongoing spread of IT and its continuing precipitous price decline are reasons for optimism about growth in the 21st century.

Suggested Citation

Jovanovic, Boyan and Rousseau, Peter L., General Purpose Technologies (January 2005). NBER Working Paper No. w11093. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=657607

Boyan Jovanovic (Contact Author)

New York University - Department of Economics ( email )

19 w 4 st.
New York, NY 10012
United States

Peter L. Rousseau

Vanderbilt University - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States
615-343-2466 (Phone)
615-343-8495 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/faculty/rousseau.html

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