33 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2018 Last revised: 23 Jan 2020
Date Written: January 22, 2020
We conjecture that some individuals are increasingly overwhelmed by the myriad of new ideas proposed to them each year. As a result, even minor obstacles to understanding an innovation causes such innovation to not be adopted. To test this conjecture, we turn to ideas proposed in scientific journal articles. We find that something as seemingly frivolous as how difficult to read a journal article is strongly negatively predicts an article’s subsequent number of citations. This negative predictability spills over to patent descriptions and patent forward citations.
Keywords: Innovation Diffusion, Bounded Rationality
JEL Classification: A10, M30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation