The Economist has a nice nuanced discussion on the above question, starting thus:
DO DIGITAL economies grow faster than analogue ones? Rich-country leaders seem to think so. G7 and European Union governments are committed to a variety of digital stimulus packages; Australia, the biggest spender, has promised broadband investment of $33.4 billion (or 3% of GDP) to connect 90% of homes at ultra-fast speeds. “Digitisation” involves adopting technologies like wireless phones and internet access to generate, process and share information. It seems to make sense that replacing slow technologies with faster ones might speed up sluggish economies. But does the case for investment stack up?
I like the discussion, especially because it sees ICTs as complementary inputs, a point that has been central to the conclusions we have drawn from our work.
What concerns me are the indices and indicators used in the analyses. However sophisticated they are, in the end, they are only as good as the quality of the input data. And in most cases, that is ITU broadband/Internet data. Which stinks.
There will be another post that will comment on the studies referred to by the Economist after we go through them in greater detail.