The Conference Board uses cookies to improve our website, enhance your experience, and deliver relevant messages and offers about our products. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this site is provided in our cookie policy. For more information on how The Conference Board collects and uses personal data, please visit our privacy policy. By continuing to use this Site or by clicking "OK", you consent to the use of cookies. 
Computers, Productivity, and Growth: Explaining the Computer Productivity Paradox

With quality-adjusted investment in new computer equipment near $500 billion during the 1990s, U.S. firms have clearly embraced the computer. The problem, however, is that economy-wide productivity growth remains well below historic averages. This rise in computer investment coupled with slow growth in productivity is the "computer productivity paradox." Does this paradox mean that companies are failing to get a bang for their computer buck when it comes to productivity as the aggregate productivity figures indicate? This research moves beyond economywide data to offer a simple solution to the paradox. By distinguishing between the sector that produces computers and the sectors that use computers, The Conference Board shows that computers are indeed having an important impact on U.S. growth and productivity and that the massive investment in computers over the past twenty years has not been in vain. (8 pages)





The 2021 IBI/Conference Board Health and Productivity Forum

The 2021 IBI/Conference Board Health and Productivity Forum

October 05 - 06, 2021 | (Chicago, Illinois)



Support Our Work

Support our nonpartisan, nonprofit research and insights which help leaders address societal challenges.