Did Computer Technology Diffuse Quickly?: Best and Average Practice in Mainframe Computers, 1968-1983

36 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2000 Last revised: 23 Jun 2012

See all articles by Shane M. Greenstein

Shane M. Greenstein

Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: February 1994

Abstract

An economy benefits from advances in technical frontiers only when new technology comes into general use. This paper measures the diffusion of computing equipment at a time when computing technology underwent dramatic technical improvement. These data shed light on the long lag between advances in computing technology and advances in economic performance of users. There is little evidence that long lags were produced by the 'slow diffusion' of new technology embodied in new hardware. 'Average practice' in computing advanced as rapidly as 'best practice,' lagging it by a maximum of 6 to 7 years.

Suggested Citation

Greenstein, Shane M., Did Computer Technology Diffuse Quickly?: Best and Average Practice in Mainframe Computers, 1968-1983 (February 1994). NBER Working Paper No. w4647. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=226955

Shane M. Greenstein (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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