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Globalization and the Rate of Technological Progress: What Track and Field Records Show

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  • Lalith Munasinghe
  • Brendan O'Flaherty
  • Stephan Danninger

Abstract

The past century and a quarter has seen frequent improvements in track and field records. We attempt to estimate what proportion of the speed of record breaking is due to globalization (competitors from more countries) and what proportion is due to technological progress (better equipment and training techniques). It appears that technological change is the chief driving force but that technological progress is improving the performance of seasoned elite athletes faster than it is improving the performance of adolescents. Both our results and our methods may have wider application.

Suggested Citation

  • Lalith Munasinghe & Brendan O'Flaherty & Stephan Danninger, 2001. "Globalization and the Rate of Technological Progress: What Track and Field Records Show," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1132-1149, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:109:y:2001:i:5:p:1132-1149
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jovanovic, Boyan & Nyarko, Yaw, 1995. "The transfer of human capital," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(5-7), pages 1033-1064.
    2. Fellner, William, 1969. "Specific interpretations of learning by doing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 119-140, August.
    3. Ann P. Bartel & Nachum Sicherman, 1999. "Technological Change and Wages: An Interindustry Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 285-325, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gadi Barlevy, 2003. "Estimating models of on-the-job search using record statistics," Working Paper Series WP-03-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    2. Matthew Kotchen & Matthew Potoski, 2011. "Conflicts of Interest Distort Public Evaluations: Evidence from the Top 25 Ballots of NCAA Football Coaches," NBER Working Papers 17628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Arnaud Dupuy, 2012. "An Economic Model of the Evolution of the Gender Performance Ratio in Individual Sports," International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 222-245, April.
    4. Kotchen, Matthew J. & Potoski, Matthew, 2014. "Conflicts of interest distort public evaluations: Evidence from NCAA football coaches," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 51-63.
    5. Lalith Munasinghe & Tackseung Jun & David Rind, 2012. "Climate change: a new metric to measure changes in the frequency of extreme temperatures using record data," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 113(3), pages 1001-1024, August.

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