Productivity

Competitiveness, Innovation and Productivity: Clearing Up The Confusion

August 19, 2013
| Reports

To listen to many economists, pundits and policymakers discuss the economics of growth it would be easy to be confused by the commonly used terms: competitiveness, innovation and productivity. These terms are often used almost interchangeably and with little precise meaning. To remedy the situation, this policy memo defines these terms and explains how each is important in driving economic prosperity.

Since 1996, productivity growth in the European Union has been 33% lower than the United States.

European growth lags U.S. growth, both before and after the Great Recession. Since 1996, productivity growth in the European Union has been 33% lower than the United States according to a recent survey by The Conference Board . A key reason is lower productivity and a key reason for that is lower use of information and communications technologies by companies. Read more »

ITIF Debate: Is Technology Responsible for American Job Loss?

September 10, 2013 - 9:00am - 10:30am
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
1101 K Street NW
Suite 610A
Washington
DC
20005

Since the Great Recession, a long list of books, studies, and news articles have attempted to assign the blame for America’s sustained high levels of unemployment to technology. These academics and journalists argue that factory automation, robots and faster and smarter computers are letting organizations replace workers at an unprecedented pace, leading to joblessness.

Is Technological Change Speeding Up? How Can You Tell?

June 11, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

Technological change is important for our economy but it can be difficult to measure, because of our bias toward the present, because each change is different, and because technologies are complexly interrelated to our economy. We can get around these problems by measuring technological change in simplified ways--but none of the techniques are perfect.

Would Public-Private Model Save the Post Office?

June 6, 2013
Rob Atkinson appeared on Fox Business’ Willis Report to discuss potential reforms to address the U.S. Post Office’s current fiscal crisis.

Rob Atkinson appeared on Fox Business’ Willis Report to discuss potential reforms to address the U.S. Post Office’s current fiscal crisis.

Fixing the Post Office

June 6, 2013
In a segment for Federal News Radio Rob Atkinson argues the USPS should continue doing last-mile, door-to-door delivery, but the rest of the mail distribution network should be opened up to competition.

In a segment for Federal News Radio Rob Atkinson argues the USPS should continue doing last-mile, door-to-door delivery, but the rest of the mail distribution network should be opened up to competition.

Just the Facts: The Benefits of Information and Communications Technology

May 13, 2013
| Reports

A prominent economist once stated, "computer chips, potato chips, what's the difference." The short answer is "a lot." Fifty-five years after the invention of the integrated circuit and 28 years after the first dot-com website was registered, information and communications technology (IT) remains a central driver of innovation and prosperity.

This fact sheet lists 53 documented economic benefits of IT, from jobs and output to competitiveness and innovation.

Labor productivity growth in the United States and other developed countries slowed from 1.9% in the 1990s to 1.3% from 2000 to 2008, coinciding with slackening growth in their per capita GDP.

Productivity growth in the world's developed economies since 2000 has been slower than in developing economies, according to the National Science Board. Faster productivity growth is critical as these nations cope with increasing numbers of retirees. And innovation, including the development and adoption of new technologies, is critical in spurring productivity. And, in contrast to what the conventional neoclassical economic doctrine holds, markets alone will produce societal sub-optimal levels of innovation.

Minimum Wage/Maximum Growth

February 20, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

In his State of the Union Address president Obama proposed that Congress increase the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour. Almost immediately a chorus of opposition based on neoclassical economics emerged, arguing that such a change would kill job creation. As former Bush Administration economist Greg Mankiw notes, “there is 79 percent agreement among his peers that a minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers.” But let’s be clear, what Mankiw really means to say is a 79 percent agreement among neoclassical economists. The neoclassical economic argument against the minimum wage is grounded in the view that if a worker and employer agree on a wage then this wage level must be welfare maximizing for both of them and by definition for society. The only thing a government regulated price for labor can do is distort labor markets and lead to less, not more economic welfare. In fact, a higher minimum wage would spur economic growth, while also increasing economic fairness.