Increasingly weightless economies

Quarterly Bulletin 1997 Q1
Published on 01 March 1997

By Danny T Quah (Centre for Economic Performance, the London School of Economics).

This article is one of an occasional series provided by academics working outside the Bank of England. The views expressed reflect those of the author rather than those of the Bank of England. In this article Danny T Quah examines how, when an economy grows, its patterns of production and consumption systematically change. He describes one such large-scale evolution, namely, the increasing weightlessness of aggregate output across advanced economies. In all fast-growing successful countrie, growth in information technology has contributed positively both to increasing weightlessness and to economic growth. In the sample of countries studied here, the richer the country the higher the contribution to growth of information technology and services; in no country has manufacturing, as traditionally construed, continued to be as important.

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