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

From: Michael Perelman (michael@ECST.CSUCHICO.EDU)
Date: Mon Sep 19 2005 - 13:19:25 EDT

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

On Mon, Sep 19, 2005 at 12:32:45PM -0400, Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM wrote:
> >   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

Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321
E-Mail michael at

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