Confronting the Crisis

ICT Stimulus Plans for Economic Growth. Second edition, October 2009

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This Report examines the scope for public financing and the role that the ICT sector and economic stimulus plans can play in regenerating economic growth and promoting economic recovery. More than fifty countries have launched economic stimulus plans in an effort to boost aggregate demand (Insight 4) – the OECD records as many as 25 OECD countries as having announced stimulus plans, while major emerging and transition countries including Brazil, Chile, China and the Russian Federation have also launched similar initiatives to stimulate their economies. Investments in ICT can play a strong role in generating long-term economic growth, as they offer strong multiplier effects in returns on investment, strong externalities and reduced economic leakages (Section 3.1). These strong externalities to ICT infrastructure suggest that the social returns on investment in ICTs are likely to exceed the private returns significantly, implying that private sector activity alone is unlikely to generate socially optimal levels of investment.




This Report has been prepared by Phillippa Biggs, with contributions from a team of authors from leading institutions active in the ICT sector (see below). Simon De Nicola, Maria Candusso, Nicolas Stauble and Stéphane Rollet prepared the InDesign version of this Report. The author is deeply grateful to Ms. Youlia Lozanova and Dr. Vaiva Lazauskaite of ITU, Dr. Graham Vickery of the OECD and Dr. Tim Kelly of infoDev/ World Bank for their generous time, comments and research support. The lead author is also grateful to José Maria Diaz Batanero, Janet Burgess, Piers Letcher, Dr. Susan Teltscher and Howard Williams of ITU for their review and comments.


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