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

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Fri Sep 23 2005 - 14:59:03 EDT

> Paul David uses the example of electricity to make the case that the
> productivity boost comes with a lag.

Hi Michael P:

One can also make the case that there is in general a productivity
lag because of  a "learning by doing"  process. I.e. the productivity gains
(in this case, as a consequence of computer technologies) are only
realized after a 'learning' process that occurs as workers use the
technologies and as management deploys those technologies for
increased efficiency. One also has to get away from thinking of
computers as if they were all a single quality.  Rather, they have
gone through successive 'generations' in design -- each new
generation allowing for potentially greater productivity.  It should
also be noted that part of this process has resulted in newer
generations of computers becoming more 'user-friendly' and hence
requiring less skill and training before productivity gains can be
realized.  One could also make the case that productivity gains,
like the diffusion period for new means of production, tend to
take place over a protracted period rather than all at once and
immediately.  If viewed from that perspective, it's not a 'paradox'
-- it's the norm.

In solidarity, Jerry

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