electronics factory workers ILO in Asia and the Pacific/Flickr

L'Amérique, la Chine et le paradoxe de la productivité

NEW HAVEN – A la fin des années 1980, on débattait avec passion du "paradoxe de la productivité" - lorsque les investissements massifs dans les nouvelles technologies de l'information n'ont pas abouti à une amélioration mesurable de la productivité. Ce paradoxe est à nouveau d'actualité, car il pose problème tant aux USA qu'à la Chine ; il pourrait d'ailleurs faire l'objet de discussions dans le cadre de leur Dialogue stratégique et économique annuel.

En 1987, le prix Nobel Robert Solow a eu une formule qui a fait mouche : "On voit partout que c'est l'ère de l'informatique, sauf dans les statistiques sur la productivité". Le paradoxe de la productivité a paru dépassé dans les années 1990, lorsque l'Amérique a connu une renaissance spectaculaire de la productivité. Hors secteur agricole, en moyenne la croissance de sa productivité a atteint 2,5% par an, alors qu'elle avait été de 1,5% au cours des 15 années précédentes. Les avantages de l'ère d'Internet s'étaient enfin matérialisés et on avait presque complètement oublié le paradoxe de la productivité.

Mais on s'est réjoui trop tôt. Malgré une nouvelle révolution technologique, la croissance de la productivité est à nouveau à la baisse. Et cette fois-ci le ralentissement est général et les deux premières économies de la planète, les USA et la Chine, sont les plus touchées.

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