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Frictionless technology diffusion: the case of tractors

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  • Rodolfo E. Manuelli
  • Ananth Seshadri

Abstract

Empirical evidence suggests that there is a long lag between the time a new technology is introduced and the time at which it is widely adopted. The conventional wisdom is that these observations are inconsistent with the predictions of the frictionless neoclassical model. In this paper we show this to be incorrect. Once the appropriate driving forces are taken into account, the neoclassical model can account for 'slow' adoption. We illustrate this by developing an industry model to study the equilibrium rate of diffusion of tractors in the U.S. between 1910 and 1960.

Suggested Citation

  • Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Ananth Seshadri, 2003. "Frictionless technology diffusion: the case of tractors," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpr:y:2003:i:nov:x:6
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Technology;

    JEL classification:

    • L62 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Automobiles; Other Transportation Equipment; Related Parts and Equipment
    • N51 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N52 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N71 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N72 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices

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