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Innovation Diffusion in Heterogeneous Populations: Contagion, Social Influence, and Social Learning

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  • H. Peyton Young
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    Abstract

    New ideas, products, and practices take time to diffuse, a fact that is often attributed to some form of heterogeneity among potential adopters. This paper examines three broad classes of diffusion models -- contagion, social influence, and social learning -- and shows how to incorporate heterogeneity into each at a high level of generality without losing analytical tractability. Each type of model leaves a characteristic "footprint" on the shape of the adoption curve which provides a basis for discriminating empirically between them. The approach is illustrated using the classic study of Ryan and Gross (1943) on the diffusion of hybrid corn. (JEL D83, O33, Q16, Z13)

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.99.5.1899
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/dec09/20071161_data.zip
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 99 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 5 (December)
    Pages: 1899-1924

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:5:p:1899-1924

    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.5.1899
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    References

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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Mario Coccia, 2013. "Population and technological innovation: the optimal interaction across modern countries," CERIS Working Paper 201307, Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO).
    2. Miriam Steurer & Robert J. Hill & Markus Zahrnhofer & Christian Hartmann, 2012. "Modelling the Emergence of New Technologies using S-Curve Diffusion Models," Graz Economics Papers 2012-05, University of Graz, Department of Economics.
    3. Richter, Andries & Grasman, Johan, 2013. "The transmission of sustainable harvesting norms when agents are conditionally cooperative," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 202-209.
    4. Andries Richter & Daan van Soest & Johan Grasman, 2013. "Contagious Cooperation, Temptation, and Ecosystem Collapse," Working Papers 2013.36, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    5. David H. Howard & Yu-Chu Shen, 2011. "Comparative Effectiveness Research, COURAGE, and Technological Abandonment," NBER Working Papers 17371, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Lafond, Francois, 2013. "Self-organization of knowledge economies," MERIT Working Papers 040, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    7. Francesco Bogliacino & Giorgio Rampa, 2009. "Quality Risk Aversion, Conjectures, and New Product Diffusion," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2009_27, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
    8. Heutel, Garth & Muehlegger, Erich, 2010. "Consumer Learning and Hybrid Vehicle Adoption," Working Paper Series rwp10-013, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    9. Lelarge, Marc, 2012. "Diffusion and cascading behavior in random networks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 752-775.
    10. Giovanni Pegoretti & Francesco Rentocchini & Giuseppe Vittucci Marzetti, 2012. "An agent-based model of innovation diffusion: network structure and coexistence under different information regimes," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 145-165, October.
    11. Cantono, Simona, 2012. "Unveiling diffusion dynamics: an autocatalytic percolation model of environmental innovation diffusion and the optimal dynamic path of adoption subsidies," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201222, University of Turin.
    12. Pongou, Roland & Serrano, Roberto, 2013. "Dynamic Network Formation in Two-Sided Economies," MPRA Paper 46021, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. López-Pintado, Dunia, 2012. "Influence networks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 776-787.
    14. Kaufman, Noah, 2014. "Overcoming the barriers to the market performance of green consumer goods," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 487-507.

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