Resilience in Times of Crisis: The Role of ICT; Evidence for Europe

Research Team:

  • Prof. Dr. Irene Bertschek, ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research Mannheim, Department of Information and Communication Technologies
  • Dr. Benjamin Engelstätter, ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research Mannheim, Department of Information and Communication Technologies
  • Michael Polder, Statistics Netherlands, The Hague, Netherlands
  • Prof. Eric Bartelsman, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Project Description:

The goal of the project is to analyse the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) for firms’, sectors’ and countries’ resilience in times of economic crisis. Firms using ICT in a smart way may be able to cope with economic shocks more flexibly, for example through re-organisation of their production processes, and can possibly achieve higher competiveness. Firms lagging behind in the adoption of new technology, however, run the risk of being driven out of the market. In addition, firms in technologically advanced markets or industries may face higher competitive pressure to innovate. ICT and their inherent innovative capabilities may thus increase resilience in economic downturns. We will make use of unique micro-level and meso-level data with a cross-country dimension. The meso-level data are available for 14 European countries. Additionally, detailed firm-level information is available for Germany and the Netherlands. The analysis of data at different levels of aggregation allows us to disentangle firm-level performance effects from re-allocation effects, both of which drive aggregate performance. We will analyse three performance measures: innovation, labour productivity and employment. The cross-country dimension of our data allows us to relate differing patterns to differences in policy environment and institutional setting, and to develop feasible policy recommendations.

Project duration: April 2014 - September 2015