THE PARADOX THAT THE COMPUTER HAS NOT INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY. It seems that the computer is affecting every aspect of our lives. However, Professor Gordon’s conclusions are consistent with a paradox that economists have been debating for the last 25 years. This Wikipedia article on the “productivity paradox” begins by citing a 1993 article by Erik Brynjolfsson “which noted the apparent contradiction between the remarkable advances in computer power and the relatively slow growth of productivity at the level of the whole economy, individual firms and many specific applications.” The article then quotes a 1987 remark by Robert Solow, who won a Nobel Prize for his work on productivity: “”You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.” The article then discusses a number of possible explanations of the paradox. It seems to me that the computer has had an enormous effect on the spread of knowledge, entertainment, and our social lives, but apparently the numbers don’t reflect that.

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