The spontaneous polarization, dynamical Born charges, and piezoelectric
constants of the III-V nitrides AlN, GaN, and InN are studied ab initio using
the Berry phase approach to polarization in solids. The piezoelectric constants
are found to be up 10 times larger than in conventional III-V's and II-VI's,
and comparable to those of ZnO. Further properties at variance with those of
conventional III-V compounds are the sign of the piezoelectric constants
(positive as in II-VI's) and the very large spontaneous polarization.