IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Technological diversification

  • Koren, Miklós
  • Tenreyro, Silvana

Why is GDP so much more volatile in poor countries than in rich ones? To answer this question, we propose a theory of technological diversification. Production makes use of different input varieties, which are subject to imperfectly correlated shocks. As in endogenous growth models, technological progress increases the number of varieties, raising average productivity. In our model, the expansion in the number of varieties provides diversification benefits against variety-specific shocks and it hence lowers the volatility of output. Technological complexity evolves endogenously in response to profit incentives. Complexity (and hence output stability) is positively related with the development of the country, the comparative advantage of the sector, and the sector’s skill and technology intensity. Using sector-level data for a broad sample of countries, we provide extensive empirical evidence confirming the cross-country and cross-sectoral predictions of the model. JEL Classification: O11, O14, O41, E32

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0551.

in new window

Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20050551
Contact details of provider: Postal: 60640 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Phone: +49 69 1344 0
Fax: +49 69 1344 6000
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  2. Francesco Caselli & Daniel Wilson, 2002. "Importing technology," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  3. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J Bradford & Redding, Stephen J. & Schott, Peter K., 2007. "Firms in International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 6277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  5. Levine, Ross, 1992. "Financial structures and economic development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 849, The World Bank.
  6. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman, 2001. "Cross-Country Technology Diffusion: The Case of Computers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 328-335, May.
  7. Aart Kraay & Jaume Ventura, 2001. "Comparative Advantage and the Cross-section of Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 8104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Miklos Koren & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "Volatility and development," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3743, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Tor Jakob Klette & Samuel Kortum, 2004. "Innovating Firms and Aggregate Innovation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 986-1018, October.
  10. Comin, D. & Hobijn, B., 2003. "Cross-Country Technology Adoption: Making the Theories Face the Facts," Working Papers 03-04, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  11. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1992. "Technological choice, financial markets and economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 763-781, May.
  12. Garey Ramey & Valerie A. Ramey, 1994. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link Between Volatility and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Francis Teal & Måns Söderbom & Neil Rankin, 2005. "Exporting from manufacturing firms in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-036, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  14. Henry G. Overman & Patricia Rice & Anthony J. Venables, 2010. "Economic linkages across space," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 30779, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  15. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1990. "Financial Fragility and Economic Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 87-114, February.
  16. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1997. "Was Prometheus Unbound by Chance? Risk, Diversification, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 709-51, August.
  17. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Juan Botero, 2003. "The Regulation of Labor," NBER Working Papers 9756, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Cuñat, Alejandro & Melitz, Marc J, 2007. "Volatility, Labour Market Flexibility, and the Pattern of Comparative Advantage," CEPR Discussion Papers 6297, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Granstrand, Ove & Sjolander, Soren, 1990. "Managing innovation in multi-technology corporations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 35-60, February.
  20. Jeremy Greenwood & Boyan Jovanovic, 1989. "Financial Development, Growth, and the Distribution of Income," NBER Working Papers 3189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
  22. Francesco Caselli & James Feyrer, 2006. "The Marginal Product of Capital," CEP Discussion Papers dp0735, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  23. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, 09.
  24. Beltramo, Mark A., 1989. "Modelling fuel-switching between natural gas and fuel oil in US manufacturing," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 70-78, January.
  25. Jordi Gali & Mark J. Gertler, 2007. "Introduction to "International Dimensions of Monetary Policy"," NBER Chapters, in: International Dimensions of Monetary Policy, pages 1-10 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3575, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. Diego A. Comin & Thomas Philippon, 2006. "The Rise in Firm-Level Volatility: Causes and Consequences," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 167-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Stephen Hymer & Peter Pashigian, 1962. "Firm Size and Rate of Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 556.
  29. Paola Giuri & John Hagedoorn & Myriam Mariani, 2002. "Technological Diversification and Strategic Alliances," LEM Papers Series 2002/04, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  30. Gambardella, Alfonso & Torrisi, Salvatore, 1998. "Does technological convergence imply convergence in markets? Evidence from the electronics industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 445-463, September.
  31. Jens Fr¯slev Christensen, 2002. "Corporate strategy and the management of innovation and technology," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 263-288.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Technological Diversification (AER 2013) in ReplicationWiki

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20050551. 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: (Official Publications)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.