Everybody knows economic productivity is the key to how fast an economy can grow, right? So the below image from the BLS shows a disturbing lack of productivity in the last 8 years:


Working in IT, that seems totally wrong, because the Internet has been a great productivity booster for more than the last decade. You can get questions answered on StackExchange, use or write open source software on GitHub, collaborate remotely using a ton of different collaboration tools (email, screensharing, group chat, etc.).

The standard productivity measure does not include all these new technologies and ways of working. So I was glad to see economists looking at ways to measure the Internet's contribution to productivity in The Past Two Decades: The Coming of the Information Economy Looks to Have Doubled Our True Rate of Economic Growth:

...So figure on not 1.75%/year but rather 3.5%/year as the true rate of increase of the American economy’s productivity over the past two decades…

That's awesome for the long-term prospects of economic growth!


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