There is widespread research, business and policy interest in the growing impact of Information and Communication Technologies (IT) on firm productivity, income and inequality. This project would work with the US Census Bureau to collect a massive new 55,000 plant dataset on IT use, twinned with detailed firm management and performance data, and worker income data to investigate the causes and effects of IT. This would create a Census super-survey to be publicly available in the Census RDCs for researchers around the US to use, and on-line as a Public Use Microdata Set (PUMS) for the broad research, business and policy access. In addition, the project would use this new dataset to undertake detailed empirical analysis to describe and determine the causes of effects of computerization, exploiting the rich regional, industry and firm variation in the dataset spanning.
In particular, the project will combine this dataset with detailed Census plant, firm and worker level data, as well as external data, to undertake empirical analysis to describe and determine the causes and effects of the use of IT and variations in management practices on a range of outcomes including growth, innovation, productivity, employment and inequality. It will utilize the rich regional, industry and firm variation in the dataset to deliver both accurate measurement and identification of the drivers of adoption of these practices. The findings would be highly relevant for public policy, business decisions and academic research.