IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ucp/intsma/doi10.1086-663612.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Long-Term Barriers to the International Diffusion of Innovations

Author

Listed:
  • Enrico Spolaore
  • Romain Wacziarg

Abstract

We document an empirical relationship between the cross-country adoption of technologies and the degree of long-term historical relatedness between human populations. Historical relatedness is measured using genetic distance, a measure of the time since two populations' last common ancestors. We find that the measure of human relatedness that is relevant to explain international technology diffusion is genetic distance relative to the world technological frontier ("relative frontier distance"). This evidence is consistent with long-term historical relatedness acting as a barrier to technology adoption: societies that are more distant from the technological frontier tend to face higher imitation costs. The results can help explain current differences in total factor productivity and income per capita across countries.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2012. "Long-Term Barriers to the International Diffusion of Innovations," NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 11-46.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:intsma:doi:10.1086/663612
    DOI: 10.1086/663612
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/663612
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/663612
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1086/663612?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 679-741, Elsevier.
    2. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio & Wacziarg, Romain, 2003. "Fractionalization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 155-194, June.
    3. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The Diffusion of Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 469-529.
    4. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1997. "Technological Diffusion, Convergence, and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-26, March.
    5. Jan Fagerberg, 2003. "Innovation: A Guide to the Literature," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20031012, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    6. Diego Comin & William Easterly & Erick Gong, 2010. "Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 BC?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 65-97, July.
    7. Ngai, L. Rachel, 2004. "Barriers and the transition to modern growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1353-1383, October.
    8. Diego Comin & Bart Hobijn & Emilie Rovito, 2008. "Technology usage lags," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 237-256, December.
    9. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for cross-country income differences," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 5266, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Diego Comin & Bart Hobijn, 2010. "An Exploration of Technology Diffusion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2031-2059, December.
    11. Diego A. Comin & Bart Hobijn & Emilie Rovito, 2006. "World Technology Usage Lags," NBER Working Papers 12677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2010. "Development Accounting," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 207-223, January.
    13. Diego A. Comin & Martí Mestieri, 2010. "An Intensive Exploration of Technology Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 16379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for cross-country income differences," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3567, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
    16. Diego A. Comin & Bart Hobijn, 2009. "The CHAT Dataset," Harvard Business School Working Papers 10-035, Harvard Business School.
    17. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Barriers to Riches," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661306.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2014. "Long-Term Barriers to Economic Development," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 3, pages 121-176, Elsevier.
    2. Das, Gouranga G. & Drine, Imed, 2020. "Distance from the technology frontier: How could Africa catch-up via socio-institutional factors and human capital?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    3. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The Diffusion of Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 469-529.
    4. Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2013. "Long-Term Barriers to Economic Development," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 149, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    5. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Strulik, Holger, 2013. "The history augmented Solow model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 134-149.
    6. Chen, Chaoran, 2020. "Technology adoption, capital deepening, and international productivity differences," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    7. Magalhães, Manuela & Afonso, Óscar, 2017. "A multi-sector growth model with technology diffusion and networks," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1340-1359.
    8. James B. Ang, 2015. "Agricultural Legacy, Individualistic Culture, and Techology Adoption," Economic Growth Centre Working Paper Series 1506, Nanyang Technological University, School of Social Sciences, Economic Growth Centre.
    9. James B. Ang, 2015. "Agricultural Transition And The Adoption Of Primitive Technology," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(4), pages 1818-1838, October.
    10. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2013. "Misallocation and productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 1-10, January.
    11. Tamura, Robert & Dwyer, Jerry & Devereux, John & Baier, Scott, 2019. "Economic growth in the long run," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 1-35.
    12. Czeglédi, Pál, 2009. "A tulajdonjogi biztonság szerepe a technológia elterjedésében [The role of property-law security in the spread of technology]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(9), pages 790-813.
    13. Ferraro, Domenico, 2017. "Volatility and slow technology diffusion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 18-37.
    14. Jerzmanowski, Michal & Tamura, Robert, 2019. "Directed technological change & cross-country income differences: A quantitative analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
    15. Restuccia, Diego & Yang, Dennis Tao & Zhu, Xiaodong, 2008. "Agriculture and aggregate productivity: A quantitative cross-country analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 234-250, March.
    16. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2006. "The World Technology Frontier," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 499-522, June.
    17. Apoorv Gupta & Jacopo Ponticelli & Andrea Tesei, 2020. "Information, Technology Adoption and Productivity: The Role of Mobile Phones in Agriculture," NBER Working Papers 27192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Maloney, William F. & Valencia, Felipe Caicedo, 2014. "Engineers, Innovative Capacity and Development in the Americas," IZA Discussion Papers 8271, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Nicola Gennaioli & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2013. "Human Capital and Regional Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(1), pages 105-164.
    20. Goni, Edwin & Maloney, William F., 2014. "Why don't poor countries do R&D ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6811, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:intsma:doi:10.1086/663612. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://www.jstor.org/journal/nberintesemimacr .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Journals Division (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.jstor.org/journal/nberintesemimacr .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.