Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Distance to the Technological Frontier and Economic Development

111 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2012 Last revised: 25 Oct 2016

Ömer Özak

Southern Methodist University - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 24, 2016

Abstract

This research explores the effects of the geographical distance to the pre-industrial technological frontier on economic development. It establishes theoretically and empirically that there exists a persistent non-monotonic effect of distance to the frontier on development. In particular, exploiting a novel measure of the travel time to the technological frontier and variations in its location during the pre-industrial era, it establishes a robust persistent U-shaped relation between the distance to the pre-industrial technological frontier and economic development. Moreover, it demonstrates that isolation from the frontier has had a positive cumulative effect on innovation and entrepreneurial activity levels, suggesting isolation may have fostered the emergence of a culture conducive to innovation, knowledge creation, and entrepreneurship.

Keywords: Comparative Development, Geographical Isolation, Culture and Technology, Innovation, Technological Diffusion and Imitation, Patenting Activity, Entrepreneurship

JEL Classification: E02, F15, F43, N10, N70, O11, O14, O31, O33, Z10

Suggested Citation

Özak, Ömer, Distance to the Technological Frontier and Economic Development (October 24, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1989216 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1989216

Ömer Özak (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University - Department of Economics ( email )

Dallas, TX 75275
United States
+1-214-768-2755 (Phone)
+1-214-768-1821 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://omerozak.com

Paper statistics

Downloads
218
Rank
117,067
Abstract Views
990