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2. The Computer Technology Index survey used a sample designed to be representative of all U.S. households and had a 66 percent response rate.

3. Evidence is emerging that the advent of PCs priced below $1,000 is allowing lower-income households to enter the market for personal computers (Hoffman and Novak, 1998).

4. Network Wizards changed the method used to collect data starting with the January 1998 survey and cautioned that care is required in comparing figures derived by using the old and new methods. The extent of growth is unmistakable, however. The last survey conducted with the old method found nearly 20 million hosts in July 1997—which would correspond to roughly 26 million hosts if the new survey method had been used. See Network Wizards (1998) for a discussion of this issue.

5. Project 2000 publications are available online at ‹›.

6. To some, the slowdown in the growth of officially measured productivity seems at odds with the many examples of how computerization has contributed to advances in the past two decades. Automatic teller machines enable banks to handle millions of transactions at all hours of the day and in numerous locations, a capability made possible by computer networking. Volumes of transactions are handled that would be inconceivable without computers. In addition, many modern manufacturers operate with a fraction of the labor previously required while handling far greater product variety. Retailing, medicine, transportation and logistics, communications, and virtually every other industry are in the midst of a computer-enabled transformation.

7. Citing unmeasured improvements in these and other areas, the Boskin Commission recently estimated that the consumer price index overestimates inflation by approximately 1 percent (Advisory Commission to Study the Consumer Price Index, 1996). This implies that growth in productivity has been underestimated by a comparable amount.

8. One tack that several researchers have recently taken is to rely on firm-level data instead of national or industry-level data. For instance, Brynjolfsson and Hitt (1996, 1997) and Lichtenberg (1995) have found that there is, in fact, a strong positive correlation between IT use and productivity at the firm level. See also CSTB (1994a).

9. See, for instance, Brynjolfsson (1996a,b), Oliner and Sichel (1994), Jorgenson and Stiroh (1995), and Lau and Tokutsu (1992).

10. Although history is not usually classified as a social science, historical analysis can play a valuable role closely allied to that of the social sciences in helping to characterize the impacts of computing and communications.

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