Study: Computer Payoffs Will Come From New Applications

By John A. McClenahen If a study from the Congressional Budget Office is correct, significant productivity gains from advanced computer technology will come from new applications for the machines, not existing ones. "For example, if increasingly powerful processors were applied solely to word processing, the benefits from additional processor speed would decline rapidly," says CBO. "However, faster processors can bring large benefits from emerging computer applications such as biotech research or speech recognition." The study, which was released this month and deals mainly with the growth of potential GDP that's not accounted for by capital and labor, assumes that computer technology will improve and the uses to which businesses and consumers put computers will increase.

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