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A witticism attributed to Robert Solow Robert Merton "Bob" Solow (born August 23, 1924) is an American economist particularly known for his work on the theory of economic growth. He was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal (in 1961) and the 1987 Nobel Prize in Economics.  holds that, "We can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics." There is widespread agreement that this paradox paradox, statement that appears self-contradictory but actually has a basis in truth, e.g., Oscar Wilde's "Ignorance is like a delicate fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone.  is a measurement problem--official price and output data are simply missing the computer revolution.

Every now and then, however, a shadow of doubt appears. Are computers truly an unalloyed un·al·loyed  
adj.
1. Not in mixture with other metals; pure.

2. Complete; unqualified: unalloyed blessings; unalloyed relief.
 boon Boon

A general term that refers to a benefit or improvement for investors. This can include such things as increased dividends, a stock market rally and stock buybacks.

Notes:
 for productivity? One recent example takes the form of a study, New Evidence on Classroom Computers and Pupil Learning, a NBER NBER National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge, MA)
NBER Nittany and Bald Eagle Railroad Company
 working paper by Joshua Angrist and Victor Lavy.

Their paper analyzes the impact of Israel's "Tomorrow-98" program, an ambitious effort to upgrade the computer resources available to elementary and middle schools in that nation. If one accepts average pupil test scores as a measure of output, then the authors' findings that there is "a consistently negative relationship between the program-induced use of computers and fourth-grade math scores" and "[f]or other grades and subjects, the estimates are not significant, though also mostly negative," are troublesome. Perhaps, the computer revolution is having a beneficial effect everywhere but in the productivity statistics and the productivity of the classroom.

This study, of course, is not, and does not purport To convey, imply, or profess; to have an appearance or effect.

The purport of an instrument generally refers to its facial appearance or import, as distinguished from the tenor of an instrument, which means an exact copy or duplicate.


PURPORT, pleading.
 to be, a complete productivity analysis. For one thing, there is little information on inputs to be matched with the data on educational outcomes. But Angrist and Lavy conclude by questioning whether those inputs appear to be justified by performance.
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Title Annotation:New Evidence on Classroom Computers and Pupil Learning study
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2000
Words:234
Previous Article:Telecommuting or work invasion?
Next Article:Workplace practices and the New Economy.
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