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Intensity of technology use and per capita real GDP across some African countries

Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich (2006): Intensity of technology use and per capita real GDP across some African countries.

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Abstract

African countries may have fared poorly compared to some countries in other regions, but relative to their own performance history some African countries have done quite well over the past eight years. In particular 2004 and 2005 were especially good years. How can such performance be made to stick and even expand? The answer to that question requires better understanding of the source of good performance. This paper proceeds on the assumption that technology was, at least partially, responsible. The result shows that a feeble technology undercuts per capita real GDP across African countries. However, the impacts of new technologies, measured by the intensities of internet and cell phone use are very strong. The policy implication of the findings speaks to the need for investment in new technologies for which productivity is high and the adoption and diffusion costs seem low. Further research can clarify the findings and policy by expanding and improving the data coverage, and examining effects on income of different kinds of technologies.

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