Human capital is the key to the IT productivity paradox
Unlike previous analyses, we consider (i) possible externalities in the use of IT and ii) IT and human capital interactions. Examining, hypothetically, the statistical consequences of erroneously disregarding (i) and (ii) we shed light on the small or negative growth effects found in early studies of the effects of IT on productivity growth, as well as the positive impacts reported more recently. Our empirical analysis uses a 14-industry panel for Swedish manufacturing 1986-95. We find that human capital developments made the average effect of IT essentially zero in 1986 and steadily increasing thereafter, and, also, generated large differences in growth effects across industries.
Keywords: IT Productivity Paradox, Applied Econometrics
JEL codes: O33, L23, L60