33 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2018 Last revised: 11 Jan 2020
Date Written: January 9, 2020
We conjecture that some individuals are becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the myriad of new ideas and products 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 idea, we turn to ideas proposed in scientific journal articles. Consistent with our conjecture, we find that how difficult to read an article is strongly negatively predicts its subsequent number of citations. This predictability has strengthened as journals increased the number of articles published in a given year. Our evidence extends to patent descriptions and patent forward citations.
Keywords: Innovation Diffusion, Bounded Rationality
JEL Classification: A10, M30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation