Call for Papers - NBER/CRIW Conference on Technology, Productivity, and Economic Growth
Today’s economy is experiencing an explosion of technological advances that are far beyond what was imaginable even five years ago. This fast pace of innovation is pervasive across industries and countries. Yet aggregate TFP growth has fallen in the US and other advanced economies and business dynamism has slowed, accompanied by an increase in the concentration of economic activity in large, mature firms. Has Robert Solow’s famous productivity paradox returned — why aren’t we seeing the gains from today’s innovations in our economic statistics? Are there better ways of conceptualizing and modeling technological advances to improve measures of productivity and economic growth? How can we capture rapid innovations in production within official government statistics, and what data do we need to accommodate new approaches? This conference and the resulting volume will try to answer these and similar questions.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
- innovation in AI, automation and robotics
- the diffusion of technology, and whether it has slowed
- understanding productivity differences among firms—real, measurement, or both?
- matching skills to technology and the restructuring of work
- measuring technological change embodied in capital, materials and services
- international comparisons
- measuring intangible capital produced within firms and across industries
- using task data to better understand sources of productivity growth
- business dynamism
- technology led structural change in the organization of firms
- how to aggregate micro productivity into meaningful aggregate measures
- measuring the digital economy
- analyzing and improving measures of productivity within official statistics
- measuring the impact of new technologies on labor
To submit a paper for potential presentation at the conference, please upload a one-page abstract by May 15, 2021 at:
Each abstract should clearly explain the question that will be studied, the plan of analysis, and the data to be used. Additional supporting material, including empirical exhibits and/or a draft paper, is also welcome. Decisions about the papers that will be included on the program will be made by June 30, 2021. The organizers welcome submissions of both empirical and theoretical research, and by scholars who are early in their careers, who are not NBER or CRIW affiliates, and who are from groups that are under-represented in the economics profession.
There will be a pre-conference virtual meeting in early September 2021 for authors only (date/time to be determined). Brief presentations (5-7 minutes) providing an overview of the paper in process will be made at the pre-conference meeting. Conference versions of papers will be due approximately 1 month prior to the conference date.
The conference will be held in Washington, DC (in person) on March 17-18, 2022. Papers that are selected for the conference program will be published in an NBER/CRIW volume, subject to review by editors and referees from the NBER and University of Chicago Press.
Economy class travel and hotel expenses will be covered for one author per paper and for discussants and panelists. Additional co-authors and other interested researchers are welcome to attend as space permits. Questions about this conference may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.