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CIRCLE, Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy, Lund University Papers in Innovation Studies, CIRCLE, Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy, Lund University

No 2007/6:
In Defense of Electricity as a General Purpose Technology

Astrid Kander (), Kerstin Enflo () and Lennart Schön ()

Abstract: Electricity has been regarded as a typical example of a general purpose technology and important for the surge both in energy productivity and overall productivity in the American economy in the 1920s. This view was challenged by Nicholas and Moser (2004) based on patent statistics. We argue that other methods are required for studying productivity effects and propose cointegration analyses. Wedemonstrate a clear impact from electrification on energy productivity in those broad Swedish industrial branches that used electricity for multiple uses. This effect goes beyond mere book-keeping effects and indicates the existence of dynamic effects.

Keywords: electricity; GPT; productivity; cointegration; dynamic effects; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: O30; (follow links to similar papers)

30 pages, December 1, 2007

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