Five Facts You Need to Know About Technology Diffusion

55 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2006 Last revised: 9 Jul 2012

See all articles by Diego Comin

Diego Comin

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Bart Hobijn

ASU

Emilie Rovito

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Date Written: January 2006

Abstract

This paper presents a new data set on the diffusion of about 115 technologies in over 150 countries over the last 200 years. We use this comprehensive data set to uncover general patterns of technology diffusion. Our main 5 findings are as follows: (i) Once the intensive margin is measured, technologies do not diffuse in a logistic way. (ii) Within a typical technology, the dispersion in the adoption levels across countries is about 5 times larger than the cross-country dispersion in income per capita. (iii) The rankings of countries by level of technology adoption are very highly correlated across technologies. (iv) Within a typical technology, there has been convergence at an average rate of 4 percent per year. (v) The speed of convergence for technologies developed since 1925 has been three times higher than the speed of convergence for technologies developed before 1925.

Suggested Citation

Comin, Diego and Hobijn, Bart and Rovito, Emilie, Five Facts You Need to Know About Technology Diffusion (January 2006). NBER Working Paper No. w11928. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=876031

Diego Comin (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10011
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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Bart Hobijn

ASU ( email )

501 E. Orange Street
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United States
(480)-965-0215 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.barthobijn.net

Emilie Rovito

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

33 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10045
United States

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