The Internet—or more broadly the information, communications, and technology sector—is widely credited as one of the primary engines of the U.S. economy over the last two decades. Exactly how much this sector has contributed to economic expansion is surprisingly unclear as previous economic research provides no consistent answer.
But in a new report, Hudson Senior Fellow Harold Furchtgott-Roth and Research Associate Jeffrey Li calculate that the sector accounted for approximately 20 percent of U.S. economic growth between 1997 and 2002 and nearly 10 percent of growth between 2002 and 2007. Using recently released statistics from the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the authors also determine that the sector-spurred growth during these periods added about $582 billion and $340 billion in 2013 dollars, respectively, to U.S. economic gross output.
On September 8th, Hudson Institute’s Center for the Economics of the Internet hosted a seminar featuring Harold Furchtgott-Roth and Jeffrey Li to discuss the implications of their new report and what lessons policymakers should draw from the report’s findings.