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An Intensive Exploration of Technology Diffusion

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  • Diego A. Comin
  • Martí Mestieri

Abstract

We present a tractable model for the analysis of the relationship between economic growth and the intensive and extensive margins of technology adoption. At the aggregate level, our model is isomorphic to a neoclassical growth model. The microeconomic underpinnings of growth come from technology adoption of firms, both at the extensive and the intensive margin. We use a data set of 15 technologies and 166 countries to estimate the intensive and extensive margin of adoption using the structural equations derived from our model. We find that the variability across countries in the intensive margin is higher than in the extensive margin. The cross country variation in intensive margin of adoption accounts for around 40% of the variation in income per capita.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16379.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Publication status: published as Technology Diffusion: Measurement, Causes and Consequences (with Diego Comin), Handbook of Economic Growth, vol. 2 .
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16379

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  1. 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.
  2. Comin, D. & Gertler, M., 2003. "Medium Term Business Cycles," Working Papers 03-05, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Comin, D. & Hobijn, B., 2004. "Cross-country technology adoption: making the theories face the facts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 39-83, January.
  6. 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.
  7. Susanto Basu & David N. Weil, 1998. "Appropriate Technology And Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1025-1054, November.
  8. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
  9. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G, 1997. "Returns to Scale in U.S. Production: Estimates and Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 249-83, April.
  10. Diego Comin & Bart Hobiijn, 2006. "An Exploration of Technology Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 12314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Ananth Seshadri, 2013. "Frictionless technology diffusion: the case of tractors," Working Papers 2013-022, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  12. Maddison, Angus, 2007. "Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199227204, Octomber.
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