Digital economy

Joint WPIIS/WPIE workshop on the Economic and Social Impacts of Broadband Communications: from ICT Measurement to Policy Implications


DTI Conference Centre, 1 Victoria Street

London SW1H 0ET, United Kingdom

22 May 2007


The workshop reviewed studies of the impacts of broadband roll-out and use: a) on economic performance at aggregate level and in the business sector, and b) on the geographical distribution of economic activity and employment, on content producers and users, and on households. It covered recent and ongoing analysis for a wide range of OECD countries.

The work presented and the outcomes of the workshop feed directly into analysis of economic and social impacts of broadband for the 2008 Ministerial on the Future of the Internet Economy.

The morning session focused on reviewing recent evidence and ongoing work examining the impact of broadband on productivity and economic performance.
The afternoon session first focused on ICT-enabled changes in production location and some of the impacts on employment. This was followed by a review of the impacts of broadband roll-out on digital content, households and time-use, and on e-inclusion.



Introduction: OECD Secretariat  


Morning session: The productivity impacts

Chair: Tony Clayton (Office for National Statistics, UK), Chair WPIIS


The macroeconomic impacts, and setting the scene

  • Bart van Ark (University of Groningen and The Conference Board)   

The microeconomic impacts – preliminary evidence from the micro data project

Measuring the economic impact of broadband in the US – a panel data study at the zip-code level

  • Marvin Sirbu (Carnegie-Mellon University, US)  

The economic impacts of broadband in the Australian context

The use of information networks and productivity

Focusing on the “C” in ICT

The impact of informational mobility

Wrap-up of the morning session and discussion


Afternoon session: The impacts on globalisation, employment, content and households

Chair: Jean-Jacques Sahel (DTI, UK)


Globalisation, ICT-enabled offshoring, employment

  • Peter Boegh Nielsen (Statistics Denmark), International sourcing surveys
  • Ursula Huws (Analytica), Impact of broadband on employment: offshoring, outsourcing and telework  

Digital content

Households and time use; e-inclusion

Comments on the impact of broadband on digital content, households and time-use

Wrap-up of the afternoon session and discussion

Policy implications: Discussion



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