Das Innovationsrätsel

NEW YORK – Überall auf der Welt herrscht enorme Begeisterung über die Art von technologischer Innovation, wie das Silicon Valley sie symbolisiert. Aus dieser Warte stellt Amerikas Erfindungsgabe seinen wahren komparativen Vorteil dar, den andere zu imitieren suchen. Eines jedoch verblüfft: In den BIP-Statistiken scheinen sich diese Innovationen nicht niederzuschlagen.

Eine ähnliche Entwicklung hatten wir vor ein paar Jahrzehnten, zu Beginn der PC-Ära, schon einmal. Der für seine Pionierarbeiten zum Wachstum mit dem Nobelpreis ausgezeichnete Ökonom Robert Solow lamentierte 1987: „Sie können das Computerzeitalter überall sehen außer in der Produktivitätsstatistik.“ Es gibt hierfür eine Reihe möglicher Erklärungen.

Möglicherweise erfasst das BIP die Verbesserungen beim Lebensstandard, die die Innovationen des Computerzeitalters hervorrufen, nicht richtig. Oder vielleicht sind diese Innovationen weniger bedeutsam, als ihre Anhänger das glauben. Tatsächlich ist an beiden Sichtweisen etwas dran.

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