The impact of digitalisation on productivity: Firm-level evidence from the Netherlands

This paper analyses the role of intangibles and digital adoption for firm-level productivity in the Netherlands drawing on a newly constructed panel data set of Dutch enterprises. It provides robust evidence on productivity effects of intangibles and digital adoption using firms’ exposure to sector-wide advances in intangible intensity and digital adoption as an instrument. Results show that intangibles as measured by levels of digital skill intensity have a positive and statistically significant impact on firm-level productivity growth in the service sector and for younger firms. Productivity benefits from software investment are strong for low productivity firms. Together, these findings highlight the potential of intangibles to support the productivity catch-up of laggard enterprises. The evidence also suggests that productivity benefits from ICT hardware investment and the uptake of high-speed broadband are positive and sizeable.

Published on September 08, 2021

In series:OECD Economics Department Working Papersview more titles