Accueil Revues Revue Numéro Résumé

Revue de l'OFCE

2006/5 (no 97 bis)

Article précédent Pages 351 - 371 Article suivant



We examine factors determining productivity of information-technology service activities at firm level, using most comprehensive data of information service industries in Japan. We focus on the degree of modularisation and resulting outsourcing and economies/diseconomies of scale in software development, and changes. We find that outsourcing has persistent negative effects on total factor productivity, suggesting not only productivity-enhancing modularisation is not fully utilised but also productivity-hindering remnants of traditional main-contractor-subcontractor relations still prevail in Japanese information service industries. We also find diseconomies of scale in software development, suggesting less efficient communication among development team members.
JEL Classification: L23, L25, L86, O33.


  • information service industry
  • productivity
  • modularization and outsourcing
  • Japan
  • firm-level data

Plan de l'article

  1. Introduction
  2. Factors Determining Productivity of Information-Service Firms
    1. Modularisation
    2. Scale of Development Organisation
  3. Data: Survey of Selected Service Industries: Volume of Information Service Industries
    1. Japanese Information Service Industries
    2. Characteristics of The Survey of Selected Service Industries
    3. “Firms with Well-Established Information Service Activities”
  4. Models, Estimation Results and Discussion
    1. Choice of Variables
      1. Modularization and Outsourcing
      2. Scale of Development Organization and the Number of System Engineers
      3. “Profit-driven R&D Investment” Hypothesis and the Profit-to-Cost Ratio
    2. Models and Estimation
    3. Results and Discussion
      1. Outsourcing and Remnants of Traditional Relationship
      2. Mythical Man-Month and Communication Problems
  5. Concluding Remarks
Accéder à cet article
© 2010-2014
back to top