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Vested Interests and Resistance to Technology Adoption

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  • Canton, E.J.F.
  • Groot, H.L.F. de
  • Nahuis, R.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

Employed technologies differ vastly across countries. Within countries many technologies that would obviously improve firms’ efficiency are not adopted. This paper explains these observations by emphasizing that a new technology positively affects workers by lowering prices and increasing their real income, but also negatively by costs of getting acquainted with the new technology. If the costs of adoption for workers exceed the benefits, they will aim at keeping the old technology in place. We formalise the trade-off in a simple OLG model with majority voting. Age groups that lose from adopting resist. Successful resistance blocks adoption and hence lowers growth. Finally, we analyse the effects of tougher competition. Provided that consumption and leisure are relatively good substitutes, tougher competition mitigates resistance and thus favours economic growth as it increases the share of the rent associated with the new technology that is being captured by the workers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 1999-106.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:1999106

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Keywords: technological change; resistance; vested interests; overlapping generations; competition;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Rehme, Günther, 2014. "Endogenous (re-)distributive policies and economic growth: A comparative static analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 355-366.
  2. Canton, Erik J. F. & de Groot, Henri L. F. & Nahuis, Richard, 2002. "Vested interests, population ageing and technology adoption," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 631-652, November.
  3. Gamal Atallah, 2009. "A Three-Period Analysis of R&D Spillovers in the Presence of an Industry Life Cycle Pattern," International Journal of Business and Economics, College of Business, and College of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, vol. 8(1), pages 21-35, April.
  4. Rehme, Günther, 2004. "Redistribution and Economic Growth in Integrated Economies," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 21580, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL).
  5. Henri de Groot, 2001. "On the optimal timing of reductions of CO2 emissions; an economists' perspective on the debate on "when flexibility"," CPB Discussion Paper 1, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

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