NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Return of the Solow Paradox? IT, Productivity, and Employment in U.S. Manufacturing

Daron Acemoglu, David Autor, David Dorn, Gordon H. Hanson, Brendan Price

NBER Working Paper No. 19837
Issued in January 2014
NBER Program(s):   EFG   LS   PR

An increasingly influential “technological-discontinuity” paradigm suggests that IT-induced technological changes are rapidly raising productivity while making workers redundant. This paper explores the evidence for this view among the IT-using U.S. manufacturing industries. There is some limited support for more rapid productivity growth in IT-intensive industries depending on the exact measures, though not since the late 1990s. Most challenging to this paradigm, and our expectations, is that output contracts in IT-intensive industries relative to the rest of manufacturing. Productivity increases, when detectable, result from the even faster declines in employment.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19837

Published: Daron Acemoglu & David Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson & Brendan Price, 2014. "Return of the Solow Paradox? IT, Productivity, and Employment in US Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 394-99, May. citation courtesy of

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