Monday June 06, 2016

Why The Economic Payoff From Technology Is So Elusive

Why is it that current cutting edge digital innovations do not yield the same economic gains as breakthrough inventions of the past? Do we just have to wait longer to see the benefits? Are the benefits of technological advances just being calculated incorrectly? Why do you think the payoff from technology is so elusive?

Your smartphone allows you to get almost instantaneous answers to the most obscure questions. It also allows you to waste hours scrolling through Facebook or looking for the latest deals on Amazon. But for several years, economists have asked why all that technical wizardry seems to be having so little impact on the economy. The issue surfaced again recently, when the government reported disappointingly slow growth and continuing stagnation in productivity. The rate of productivity growth from 2011 to 2015 was the slowest since the five-year period ending in 1982.