Understanding Digital Technology’s Evolution and the Path of Measured Productivity Growth



Understanding Digital Technology’s Evolution and the Path of

Measured Productivity Growth: Present and Future in the Mirror

of the Past

(5 points maximum)

1. [Brynjolfsson & Kahin] Describe how information technology changed and introduced

new patterns of work organization and worker productivity, job creation and loss,

corporate profits and losses, and national prospects for economic growth.

2. [Brynjolfsson & Kahin] Do you support Alan Greenspan’s posit that “We are living

through one of those rare, perhaps once-in-a-century events ... the advent of the

transistor and the integrated circuit ... have fundamentally changed the structure of the

American economy?” Fully explain why/why not.

3. [Brynjolfsson & Kahin] Fully explain each of the three reactions cited by economists’

questions concerning the slowdown of TFP growth and its perplexing conjuncture with

the wave of investments involving information and communications technology in the

U.S. as cited in this chapter. When answering, be sure to list which of the three reactions

your answer addresses.

4. [Brynjolfsson & Kahin] Fully explain why the author feels that the cost of ownership

to the business organization may be as much as tenfold the size of the acquisition cost

of the computer itself.

5. [Brynjolfsson & Kahin] What is meant by the term ‘featuritis’ as used in the context of

this chapter? Give examples and state whether you agree or disagree with the negative

context into which it is characterized.

Answer each question as fully as you are able in no less than 2 complete paragraphs.

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