Re: [OPE-L] Sraffa and the productivity paradox

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Mon Sep 19 2005 - 12:32:45 EDT

>   The productivity paradox that I refer to is the observation
> made by Solow, and Roach that computers do not seem to
> have made a significant measurable contribution to productivity.
<snip, JL>

Hi, Paul C:

This is an interesting issue, but one that is hard to address
abstractly.  Putting aside the issue of how productivity is problematically
measured in standard theory, the answer to the "productivity paradox"
might not be found at the aggregate level.  If one were, however,
to consider why productivity might not have increased in
individual branches of production and sectors after the
introduction of  specific computer technologies, then one might
come up with a number of explanations.  E.g. the reason that
productivity (as conventionally measured) hasn't increased by the
amount anticipated after computers were widely diffused as
means of production in offices is quite different from the reasons
why productivity hasn't been increased in many cases following
the adoption of industrial robotics in assembly-based forms of
manufacture.  Thus, while this might seem to be a 'macro' issue,
the answers might be found only on the 'micro' level.

In solidarity, Jerry

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