Growth, Productivity and Innovation

Theories and Facts
  • Riccardo Petrella


The first section describes two major concepts concerning the role of technical change, and in particular of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), in productivity gains and growth. Present trends in real life, however, do not correspond to the theories. The second section, therefore, deals with the “gap” between theory and reality.


Technical Change Information Society White Collar Advanced Industry Linear Concept 
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Notes And Sources

  1. [1]
    A useful analysis of the theses of the various schools of economic thought is made by C. Freeman—L. Soete, Information Technology and Employment —An Assessment. Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, 1985.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    See T. Gaudin in “La révolution de l’intelligence. Rapport sur l’état de la technique”, n° spécial de Science et Techniques, Paris, 1986.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    The Plan for Information Society. A National Goal Towards Year 2000“. Japan Computer Usage Development Institute, Tokyo, 1972.Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    C. Freeman (ed.). Long Waves in the World Economy, London, Frances Pinter, 1984; C. Perez, “Structural Change and the Assimilation of New Technologies in the Economic and Social Systems”, in Futures, October 1983, pp. 357–375.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    C. Freeman—L. Soete, op. cit., p. 46Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    See M. Piore—C. Sabel, The Second Industrial Divide, Basic Books, New York, 1984.Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    The PSI in London has carried out since 1983 several studies on Microelectronics in Industry. In addition to their own work, ISI and IFP have contributed during the last 2 years with detailed analyses to the project sponsored by the Bundesministerium für Forschung und Technologie on “Arbeitsmarktwirkungen Moderner Technologien”. Crédit National in France has carried out a most intensive study on the “immaterial” investment in French enterprises in the last 15 years.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Cf. G. d’Alcantara, Commission of the European Community, Brussels, Concepts for the Improvement, Measurement and Formalisation of Productivity in the Services,FAST Occasional Papers (FOP) 95 A and B, July 1986, 2 volumes, 685 pages.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Most of the quantitative forecasts on the potential markets for ICT based processes, product and services of the last 15 years have regularly been revised and scaled down!Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    See the reports prepared by J. Northcotte on “Microelectronics in Industry” at PSI in London and particularly the last one Microelectronics in Industry. Promise and Performance, PSI, 1986.Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    See FAST reports on the state of diffusion of robots and flexible manufacturing systems in F, FRG, DK, UK, NL, B, and I. ISI—ISF, Flexible Manufacturing Systems and Cells in the Scope of New Product Systems in Germany, FAST Occasional Paper, FOP 135, Bruxelles, January 1987; P. Brodner (ed.), Options for New Production Systems, FOP150, February 1987, W. Wobbe (ed.), Flexible Manufacturing in Europe—Approaches and Diffusion. State of Art in Nine Member Countries, FOP 155, March 1987.Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    The various information mentioned has been reported some in Les Echos of 23 November 1987 and some in the Wall Street Journal of 3 December 1987.Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    Cf. P.A. Strassmann. Information pays off—The Transformation of Work in the Electronic Age, The Free Press, Max Miller, New York, 1985.Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    J. Voge. “De l’Education, de la Recherche, de l’Information et des Communications dans la croissance économique”, in: Revue de l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications, Paris, 1973, pp. 43–75, et “De l’économie de l’informatique à l’économie d’information… ou la grande crise des années 80”, in: Bulletin de l’IDATE, Montpellier, n° 16, juillet 1984, pp. 53–96.Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Communication in Japan, Tokyo, 1986, pp. 12–14.Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    Cf. CURDS, Economic, Technological and Locational Trends in European Services, A Report from the FAST Programme, Avebury, 1987.Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    Cf. R. Petrella, “Technology and Employment in Europe: Problems and Proofs” in: Science and Public Policy, December 1984, pp. 352–359.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

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  • Riccardo Petrella

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