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Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 14 No. 4 (Fall 2000)


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

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Oliner, Stephen D., and Daniel E. Sichel. 2000. "The Resurgence of Growth in the Late 1990s: Is Information Technology the Story?" Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14(4): 3-22.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.14.4.3


The growth of U.S. labor productivity rebounded in the second half of the 1990s, after nearly a quarter century of sluggish gains. We assess the contribution of information technology to this rebound, using the same neoclassical framework as in our earlier work. We find that a surge in the use of information technology capital and faster efficiency gains in the production of computers account for about two-thirds of the speed-up in productivity growth between the first and second halves of the 1990s. Thus, to answer the question posed in the title of the paper, information technology largely is the story.

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Oliner, Stephen D. (Federal Reserve Board)
Sichel, Daniel E. (Federal Reserve Board)

JEL Classifications

O47: Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
L63: Microelectronics; Computers; Communications Equipment
L86: Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
O33: Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes


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