Information Technology Increases Labour Productivity


Investment in information technologies significantly increases the user's labour productivity.

This is the key result of an international conference on the economic aspects of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), organised by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, with the support of the Volkswagen Foundation ("VolkswagenStiftung").

Considering the USA and France, we can see that precisely those sectors which in the past few years have been investing heavily in information technologies recorded a particularly strong productivity growth. These include the mechanical engineering sector, investment companies and the electronics industry. By contrast, sectors with a comparatively low level of IT investment, such as mining and the construction industry, only record a small productivity growth.

At the same time it became clear that the 2.5 per cent share of IT investments in GDP in the EU member states in the 90s was merely half of that in the USA. An EU-wide comparison regarding the share of IT investment in GDP sees Great Britain, the Netherlands, Ireland and Sweden in leading positions. With just over two per cent, Germany and France merely rank in the EU-midrange. Accordingly, productivity growth driven by IT has been comparatively scarce in both countries.

Click here for the conference programme and presentations.


Prof. Dr Irene Bertschek, Phone:+49(0)621/1235-178, E-mail:

Dr Margit Vanberg, E-mail: