The Competitiveness of the European ICT Industry
This paper investigates the international competitiveness of the European ICT sector. We use Labour productivity, R&D expenses and trade performance as proxies of competitiveness. The empirical analysis of 39 countries between 1999 and 2004 confirms our main hypothesis that the EU is performing better in the ICT services industry relative to manufacturing. In general, the average EU production efficiency is larger in the services sector, than in manufacturing. The study has important policy implications. Appropriate policies should be implemented – especially in the ICT manufacturing sector – for making EU more competitive in “non- price factors”, such as policies that facilitate the transformation of R&D expenses into product innovation. There are clearly areas for improvement in the way R&D is carried out in the ICT sector within the EU, with respect to both the allocation of R&D investment and the process of producing results from R&D.