Annual Forum Papers

Information Technology and Producer Services A Source of Economic Development: The South African Case

  • Year: 2001
  • Organisation: SNF
  • Author(s): Hildegunn Kyvik NordÃ¥s

This paper discusses one aspect of the by now somewhat discredited 'new economy', namely the impact of information and communication technology on the growth in volume and diversity of producer services. It provides an analysis of data on developments within transport, communication, finance and business services in South Africa and discusses on the background of recent theoretical work the impact of these developments on the economy as a whole. It is argued that so far the very rapid development in the producer services sectors has had little impact on the rest of the economy. It is further argued that outsourcing of producer services combined with access to a broad variety of such services are important factors for reaping the full benefits of the observed developments in the producer services sectors. The paper also provides a discussion of, under which conditions extensive outsourcing will take place.