The Speed of Innovation Diffusion

26 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2018 Last revised: 6 Feb 2019

See all articles by Itai Arieli

Itai Arieli

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology

Yakov Babichenko

Technion, Industrial Engineering and Managemenet

Ron Peretz

Bar Ilan University

H. Peyton Young

Brookings Institution

Date Written: January 22, 2019

Abstract

New ways of doing things often get started through the actions of a few innovators, then diffuse rapidly as more and more people come into contact with prior adopters in their social network. Much of the literature focuses on the speed of diffusion as a function of the network topology. In practice, however, the topology may not be known with any precision, and it is constantly in flux as links are formed and severed. Here we establish an upper bound on the expected waiting time until a given proportion of the population has adopted that holds independently of the network structure. Kreindler and Young demonstrated such a bound for regular networks when agents choose between two options: the innovation and the status quo. Our bound holds for directed and undirected networks of arbitrary size and degree distribution, and for multiple competing innovations with different payoffs.

Suggested Citation

Arieli, Itai and Babichenko, Yakov and Peretz, Ron and Young, H. Peyton, The Speed of Innovation Diffusion (January 22, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3287726 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3287726

Itai Arieli (Contact Author)

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology ( email )

Technion City
Haifa 32000, Haifa 32000
Israel

Yakov Babichenko

Technion, Industrial Engineering and Managemenet ( email )

Hiafa, 3434113
Israel

Ron Peretz

Bar Ilan University ( email )

Ramat Gan
5290002
Israel

H. Peyton Young

Brookings Institution ( email )

1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036-2188
United States

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