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Zvi Griliches on Diffusion, Lags and Productivity Growth …Connecting the Dots

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  • Paul David

    (Stanford University)

Abstract

The three most extensively cited papers by Zvi Griliches deal with the diffusion of innovations, distributed lags and the sources of the growth of measured total factor productivity, respectively. The close economic connections between these dynamic phenomena remained largely unexplored and were at best only implicit in his published writings until late in his career. Yet, from his later reflective writings, it is clear that Griliches not only recognized the existence of those connections, but regarded them to be critically important in understanding the determinants of the pace of economic growth. The present paper proceeds in that spirit. It examines the relationship between Gliches’ pioneering study of the diffusion of hybrid corn and the subsequent development of economic theories explaining diffusion phenomenon. Rather than offering a comprehensive survey of the literature, its aim is to expose the connections with lagged investment in capital-embodied innovations, and formalize of the micro-to macro links between technological diffusion dynamics and the pace of measured productivity growth. The heterodox, “evolutionary economics” aspects of this approach to explaining technological ‘transitions’ may be thought to be a significant yet under-appreciated part of Griliches’ intellectual legacy.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/lab/papers/0502/0502002.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0502002.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: 10 Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0502002

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 51
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Ireland, N.J. & Stoneman, P, 1984. "Innovation and Diffusion - The Implications of an Integrated Approach," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 254, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Rosenberg, Nathan, 1972. "Factors affecting the diffusion of technology," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 3-33.
  3. Stoneman, Paul L & David, Paul A, 1986. "Adoption Subsidies vs Information Provision as Instruments of Technology Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(380a), pages 142-50, Supplemen.
  4. David, P.A., 1989. "Computer And Dynamo: The Modern Productivity Paradox In A Not-Too Distant Mirror," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 339, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Productivity, R&D, and the Data Constraint," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 1-23, March.
  6. David, Paul A. & Olsen, Trond E., 1992. "Technology adoption, learning spillovers, and the optimal duration of patent-based monopolies," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 517-543, December.
  7. Ireland, N & Stoneman, P, 1986. "Technological Diffusion, Expectations and Welfare," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 283-304, July.
  8. Alan B. Krueger & Timothy Taylor, 2000. "An Interview with Zvi Griliches," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 171-189, Spring.
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Cited by:
  1. Tavneet Suri, 2006. "Selection and Comparative Advantage in Technology Adoption," Working Papers 944, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  2. Richard C. Sutch, 2008. "Henry Agard Wallace, the Iowa Corn Yield Tests, and the Adoption of Hybrid Corn," NBER Working Papers 14141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2004. "Innovation and Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 10212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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