In our present-day world, economic growth is mainly achieved through innovation and increased productivity, which puts knowledge and technology at the heart of the economic policy debate. ICT has a special place in this debate, as it is an ever-renewing technology that has the potential to increase efficiency, facilitate knowledge sharing and enhance innovation. Against this background, Statistics Netherlands has conducted a research project commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, aimed at exploring the determinants of economic growth and productivity with a special focus on ICT and its interactions with other determinants. In this special publication, the research findings on the various themes are bundled.
The report includes studies at the industry-as well as at the firm-level of the determinants of economic performance together with the measurement of relevant phenomena. Roughly, the determinants of productivity and economic growth can be categorized into two main categories: factors a firm can control – such as the level of employment or other inputs – and external factors over which firms have limited or no control such as competition, globalisation and institutional factors. Moreover, macro-economic growth is the result of the dynamics within and between industries and firms. The chapters in this publication are organized around these themes. While they each provide new and relevant information, they may be read in concert or individually, so thatthe reader can decide to focus on the topics of his or her own interest.