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ICT and economic growth – Comparing developing, emerging and developed countries

Thomas Niebel | https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.11.024

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on economic growth in developing, emerging and developed countries. The main question is whether the gains from investments in ICT differ between developing, emerging and developed countries. The analysis is based on a high-quality sample of 59 countries for the period 1995–2010. Various panel data regressions confirm the previously reported positive relationship between ICT capital and GDP growth. For the combined sample of all 59 countries, the estimated output elasticity of ICT is larger than the ICT factor compensation share suggesting excess returns to ICT capital. The regressions for the subsamples of developing, emerging and developed countries do not reveal statistically significant differences in the output elasticity of ICT between these three groups of countries. Thus, the results indicate that developing and emerging countries are not gaining more from investments in ICT than developed economies, calling into question the argument that these countries are ‘leapfrogging’ through ICT.