Productivity and Broadband: The Human Factor

Elizabeth Mack, Alessandra Faggian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


While the productivity paradox has been largely resolved, debate persists about the impacts of information and communications technologies on productivity, particularly as regards broadband Internet connections. To date, the bulk of the literature has not addressed the impacts of broadband provision on regional variations in productivity. This study develops a series of spatial econometric models that examine the link between broadband provision and productivity for US counties. The models developed not only consider the link between productivity and broadband provision, but they also evaluate the variability in broadband impacts that are related to the quality of human capital stock within counties. The results of the models are evidence of skill-based technological change and suggest that in general, broadband has a positive impact on productivity only in locales with high levels of human capital and/or highly skilled occupations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-423
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Regional Science Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • broadband
  • human capital
  • productivity
  • technological change
  • technology policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Social Sciences


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