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The Intensive Margin of Technology Adoption

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  • Diego A. Comin

    ()
    (Harvard Business School, Business, Government and the International Economy Unit)

  • Marti Mestieri

    ()
    (MIT Department of Economics)

Abstract

We present a tractable model for analyzing the relationship between economic growth and the intensive and extensive margins of technology adoption. The "extensive" margin refers to the timing of a country's adoption of a new technology; the "intensive" margin refers to how many units are adopted (for a given size economy). At the aggregate level, our model is isomorphic to a neoclassical growth model, while at the microeconomic level it features adoption of firms at the extensive and the intensive margin. Based on a data set of 15 technologies and 166 countries our estimations of the model yield four main findings: (i) there are large cross-country differences in the intensive margin of adoption; (ii) differences in the intensive margin vary substantially across technologies; (iii) the cross-country dispersion of adoption lags has declined over time while the cross-country dispersion in the intensive margin has not; (iv) the cross- country variation in the intensive margin of adoption accounts for more than 40% of the variation in income per capita.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 11-026.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:11-026

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Related research

Keywords: Economic Growth; Technology Adoption; Cross-country studies.;

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References

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  1. Caselli, Francesco & Coleman II, Wilbur John, 2001. "Cross-Country Technology Diffusion: The Case of Computers," CEPR Discussion Papers 2744, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Maddison, Angus, 2007. "Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199227204.
  3. Diego Comin & Bart Hobiijn, 2006. "An Exploration of Technology Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 12314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Diego Comin & Bart Hobijn & Emilie Rovito, 2006. "Five Facts You Need to Know About Technology Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 11928, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Susanto Basu & David N. Weil, 1998. "Appropriate Technology And Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1025-1054, November.
  6. Comin, D. & Gertler, M., 2003. "Medium Term Business Cycles," Working Papers 03-05, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  7. Diego Comin & Bart Hobijn, 2003. "Cross-country technology adoption: making the theories face the facts," Staff Reports 169, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. Rodolfo Manuelli & Ananth Seshadri, 2003. "Frictionless Technology Diffusion: The Case of Tractors," NBER Working Papers 9604, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Clark, Gregory, 1987. "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed? Lessons from the Cotton Mills," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 141-173, March.
  10. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1996. "Returns to scale in U.S. production: estimates and implications," International Finance Discussion Papers 546, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
  12. Diego Comin & Bart Hobijn & Emilie Rovito, 2008. "A new approach to measuring technology with an application to the shape of the diffusion curves," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 187-207, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Maloney, William F. & Caicedo, Felipe Valencia, 2014. "Engineers, Innovative Capacity and Development in the Americas," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6814, The World Bank.
  2. Dutz, Mark A., 2013. "Resource reallocation and innovation : converting enterprise risks into opportunities," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6534, The World Bank.
  3. Grant Miller & A. Mushfiq Mobarak, 2013. "Gender Differences in Preferences, Intra-Household Externalities, and Low Demand for Improved Cookstoves," NBER Working Papers 18964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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