The Diffusion of Innovations: A Methodological Reappraisal

47 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2004 Last revised: 4 Apr 2022

See all articles by Manuel Trajtenberg

Manuel Trajtenberg

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Shlomo Yitzhaki

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: October 1982

Abstract

Studies of diffusion have traditionally relied on specific distributions-primarily the logistic- to characterize and estimate those processes.We argue here that such approach gives rise to serious problems of comparability and interpretation, and may result in large biases inthe estimates of the parameters of interest. We propose instead the Gini's expected mean differenceas ameasure of diffusion speed, discuss its advantages over the traditional approach, and tackle with it the problems of truncated processes, inter-group comparisons, and related issues. We also elaborateon the use of the hazardrate, and suggest some possible extensions. The diffusion of CT scanners is presented as an illustration.

Suggested Citation

Trajtenberg, Manuel and Yitzhaki, Shlomo, The Diffusion of Innovations: A Methodological Reappraisal (October 1982). NBER Working Paper No. w1008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=304749

Manuel Trajtenberg (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel
+972 3640 9911 (Phone)
+972 3640 9908 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Shlomo Yitzhaki

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel
+972 2 659 2201 (Phone)
+972 2 652 2319 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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