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Vintage Effects and the Diffusion of Time-Saving Technological Innovations

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  • Das Nilotpal

    () (Royal Bank of Canada)

  • Falaris Evangelos M

    () (University of Delaware)

  • Mulligan James G

    () (University of Delaware)

Abstract

An important aspect of the study of technological innovations is the explanation of the extent and pace of diffusion. We show that pooling data across vintages of a technology may result in misleading conclusions about the impact of key factors on the duration of time to adoption of the innovation. This is especially important for a technology that affects both product/service quality and a firm's costs of operation to different degrees as the technology evolves over time. Using data on the diffusion of point-of-sale optical scanners between 1974 and 1985, we find that factors such as the stock of prior adopters, household income, family size, the four-firm concentration ratio and item-pricing laws had predictably different effects on the diffusion rate depending on the vintage of the technology. These results are robust to controlling for unobserved heterogeneity among firms, inclusion of additional regressors and a change in functional form.

Suggested Citation

  • Das Nilotpal & Falaris Evangelos M & Mulligan James G, 2009. "Vintage Effects and the Diffusion of Time-Saving Technological Innovations," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-37, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:9:y:2009:i:1:n:23
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Beck, Jonathan & Grajek, Michal & Wey, Christian, 2005. "Hypermarket Competition and the Diffusion of Retail Checkout Barcode Scanning," CEPR Discussion Papers 5386, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Emek Basker, 2012. "Raising the Barcode Scanner: Technology and Productivity in the Retail Sector," NBER Chapters,in: Standards, Patents and Innovations National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. James G. Mulligan & Daniel J. Wedzielewski, 2012. "Government Intervention to Prevent Bankruptcy: the Effect of Blind-Bidding Laws on Movie Theaters," Working Papers 12-03, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
    4. Emek Basker, 2015. "Change at the Checkout: Tracing the Impact of a Process Innovation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 339-370, June.
    5. Emek Basker & Tim Simcoe, 2017. "Upstream, Downstream: Diffusion and Impacts of the Universal Product Code," Working Papers 17-66, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    6. Burton A. Abrams & Evangelos M. Falaris & James G. Mulligan, 2015. "Municipal Technological Change in the 19th Century: The Diffusion of Steam-Powered Fire-Fighting Equipment," Working Papers 15-09, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.

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