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Will history repeat itself? Comments on ‘is the information technology revolution over?’

In this article I comment on three aspects of Byrne, Oliner and Sichel’s analyses. First, I show that the patterns in labour productivity growth during the IT era echo those observed during electrification. This includes a slowdown of roughly analogous timing to that observed in 2004-2012 — a slowdown that in the electrification era was followed by a productivity growth acceleration. Second, I discuss the implications of continued divergence in mean and median incomes for the analysis of productivity growth in the long run. Third, I explore further the issue of whether technological progress in semiconductor manufacturing is yielding concomitant increases in semiconductor performance.