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The Spatial Diffusion of Technology

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  • Diego Comin
  • Mikhail Dmitriev
  • Esteban Rossi-Hansberg

Abstract

We study technology diffusion across countries and over time empirically. We …find signi…cant evidence that technology diffuses slower to locations that are farther away from adoption leaders. This effect is stronger across rich countries and also when measuring distance along the south- north dimension. A simple theory of human interactions can account for these empirical …ndings. The theory suggests that the e¤ect of distance should vanish over time, a hypothesis that we con…rm in the data, and that distinguishes technology from other ‡ows like goods or investments. We then structurally estimate the model. The parameter governing the frequency of interactions is larger for newer and network-based technologies and for the median technology the frequency of interactions decays by 73% every 1000 Kms. Overall, we document the signi…cant role that geography plays in determining technology diffusion across countries.

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Paper provided by Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) in its series INET Research Notes with number 27.

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Date of creation: 27 Mar 2013
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Handle: RePEc:thk:rnotes:27

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  1. Diego Comin & Bart Hobijn, 2003. "Cross-country technology adoption: making the theories face the facts," Staff Reports, Federal Reserve Bank of New York 169, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  2. Oriana Bandiera & Imran Rasul, 2002. "Social Networks and Technology Adoption in Northern Mozambique," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics 35, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  3. Diego Comin & William Easterly & Erick Gong, 2006. "Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 B.C.?," NBER Working Papers 12657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, . "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Home Pages, University of Pennsylvania _068, University of Pennsylvania.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521801386 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Peter Thompson & Melanie Fox Kean, 2004. "Patent Citations and the Geography of Knowledge Spillovers: A Reassessment," Working Papers, Florida International University, Department of Economics 0401, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
  7. William R. Kerr & Scott Duke Kominers, 2012. "Agglomerative Forces and Cluster Shapes," Working Papers, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau 12-09, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  8. Angus Maddison, 2005. "Measuring And Interpreting World Economic Performance 1500-2001," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(1), pages 1-35, 03.
  9. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics, Boston College Department of Economics 485, Boston College Department of Economics.
  10. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Susanto Basu, 1995. "Procyclical Productivity: Increasing Returns or Cyclical Utilization?," NBER Working Papers 5336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521805247 is not listed on IDEAS
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