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The Computer Revolution: An Economic Perspective

by Daniel E. Sichel

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This book provides a straightforward guide to the economic issues behind the debates about the role of computers in the nation's economy. To set the stage, Daniel Sichel reviews the essential facts about computers in the economy, with a particular emphasis on software. Using quantitative and historical analysis, supplemented by interviews with business leaders and other professionals, Sichel assesses the aggregate economic impact of computers in recent decades and looks ahead to their future impact. When compared with the size of the slowdown in productivity growth in the 1970s, he finds that recent contributions of computers to growth seem relatively modest. And, looking ahead, Sichel suggests it is doubtful that these contributions will surge in coming years. Thus, despite the importance of information technology, some caution is in order; computers may not be a magic bullet for productivity growth.



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