An Exploration of Technology Diffusion

48 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2008

See all articles by Diego A. Comin

Diego A. Comin

Harvard Business School - Business, Government and the International Economy Unit

Bart Hobijn

ASU

Date Written: April 3, 2008

Abstract

We develop a model that, at the aggregate level, is similar to the one sector neoclassical growth model, while, at the disaggregate level, has implications for the path of observable measures of technology adoption. We estimate our model using data on the diffusion of 15 technologies in 166 countries over the last two centuries. We evaluate the implications of our estimates for aggregate TFP and per capita income. Our results reveal that, on average, countries have adopted technologies 47 years after their invention. There is substantial variation across technologies and countries. Over the past two centuries, newer technologies have been adopted faster than old ones. The cross-country variation in the adoption of technologies accounts for at least a quarter of per capita income differences.

Keywords: economic growth, technology adoption, cross-country studies

JEL Classification: E13, O14, O33, O41

Suggested Citation

Comin, Diego A. and Hobijn, Bart, An Exploration of Technology Diffusion (April 3, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1116606 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1116606

Diego A. Comin (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School - Business, Government and the International Economy Unit ( email )

Cambridge
United States

Bart Hobijn

ASU ( email )

501 E. Orange Street
Tempe, AZ 85287-9801
United States
(480)-965-0215 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.barthobijn.net

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