The ICT Revolution Isn’t Over: ...I thought I would make one casual observation about technology. Here it is:... the relatively limited impact so far of the much-heralded rise of ICT — information and communication technologies. For a long time these technologies seemed to be doing nothing for the economy; then, finally, they seemed to kick in circa 1995. But the new era of productivity growth, as Bob says, wasn’t a match for the long boom post World War II, and seemed to have petered out by the late 2000s.
What I’d note, however, is that there is almost surely a second wind coming. The 1995-2007 productivity rise was basically a “wired” phenomenon, a lot of it having to do with local area networks rather than the Internet. Wireless data is a whole different thing, and it’s a surprisingly recent thing — the iPhone was introduced in 2007, the iPad in 2010. And we know from repeated experience that it takes quite a while for new technologies to show up in economic growth, a point famously made by Paul David and confirmed by the 25-year lag between the introduction of the microprocessor and the 90s productivity takeoff.
So there’s more coming. How big is another question.