Digitalisation and Heterogeneity

Project Description

Recent trends in productivity growth and differences in productivity levels between countries have been increasingly associated with widespread differences between firms within sectors, both in the use of technology and in firm performance.

This SEEK project aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the heterogeneity in the diffusion of digital technologies and its impact on firm performance. The analyses focus on the question of how heterogeneous industries and countries are with regard to their investments in digitalisation and how this is linked to heterogeneity in firm success. In particular, the reasons for the observed heterogeneity within industries will be analysed. In contrast to earlier studies, the connection between the heterogeneity of digitalisation and the heterogeneity in the innovation performance and productivity of firms within sectors will be explicitly examined.

In addition to differences in the use of digital technologies in general, cloud computing as one of the central trends in the current discussion on the digitalisation of companies will be examined in more detail. In recent years, cloud computing has led to a change in the way IT resources are used, with companies buying digital services instead of making such investments themselves. Focusing on this new form of IT resources within a firm, interdependencies between IT use and public investment incentives will also be examined.

Duration: January 2019 – December 2020

Research Team

Internal members, ZEW – Leibniz-Centre for European Economic Research, Mannheim:

  • Raphaela Andres, ZEW Research Department “Digital Economy”
  • Prof. Dr. Irene Bertschek, ZEW Research Department “Digital Economy”
  • Dr. Daniel Erdsiek, ZEW Research Department “Digital Economy”
  • Dr. Thomas Niebel, ZEW Research Department “Digital Economy”
  • Dr. Jörg Ohnemus, ZEW Research Department “Digital Economy”
  • Steffen Viete, ZEW Research Department “Digital Economy”

External members: