Due to startling and continued technological advances, information and communication technology (ICT) has received major attention in analysing innovation and growth dynamics in industrialised countries over the last decade. Beyond innovation and productivity increases in the ICT-producing sector itself, the diffusion of ICT has enabled not only the deployment of completely new technological domains, such as biotechnology, but has also fostered process innovations and the reshaping of organisational structures in more established parts of industrialised economies. Due to its characteristics as a general purpose technology, ICT diffusion has become an important aspect of the performance of innovation systems. This chapter shows that ICT diffusion varies markedly between industrialised countries, with Germany ranking somewhere in the middle for most indicators discussed.

Hempell, Thomas (2006), Diffusion of Information and Communication Technology, in: Schmoch, U., C. Rammer, and H. Legler (eds.) National Systems of Innovation in Comparison, Structure and Performance Indicators for Knowledge Societies, Kluwer 169-184.


Information and communication technology, international comparison, technology diffusion