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The Diffusion of Technology and Inequality Among Nations

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  • Boyan Jovanovic
  • Saul Lach

Abstract

One usually accounts for output growth in terms of the growth of the primary inputs: labor, physical capital, and possibly human capital. In this paper we account for growth with labor and with intermediate goods. Because we have no measures of the extent of adoption of most intermediate goods in most countries, we have to assume something about how they spread, based on what we see in U.S. data. We find that if all countries have (al the same production function, (b) the same speed of adoption technology, and (c) imperfectly correlated technology shocks, then we can easily account for the extent and persistence of inequality among nations. Unfortunately, while it easily generates the sorts of low frequency movements that we observe, our technology shock seems to have little to do with high frequency movements in GNP so that if our definition of this shock is correct, real business cycle models are way off the mark.

Suggested Citation

  • Boyan Jovanovic & Saul Lach, 1991. "The Diffusion of Technology and Inequality Among Nations," NBER Working Papers 3732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3732
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    Cited by:

    1. Chandan Sharma & Ritesh Kumar Mishra, 2011. "Does export and productivity growth linkage exist? Evidence from the Indian manufacturing industry," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(6), pages 633-652, November.
    2. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2005. "Exporting raises productivity in sub-Saharan African manufacturing firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-391, December.
    3. Mahmut Yasar & Philip Garcia & Carl Nelson & Roderick Rejesus, 2007. "Is there Evidence of Learning-by-Exporting in Turkish Manufacturing Industries?," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(2), pages 293-305.
    4. Ben-David, Dan, 1996. "Trade and convergence among countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 279-298, May.
    5. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 1994. "International patenting and technology diffusion," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 94-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Mauricio Cárdenas & Adriana Pontón C., 1993. "Crecimiento del PIB departamental en Colombia: 1950 - 1989," COYUNTURA SOCIAL 013245, FEDESARROLLO.
    7. Easterly, William, 1994. "Economic stagnation, fixed factors, and policy thresholds," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 525-557, June.
    8. Detragiache, Enrica, 1998. "Technology diffusion and international income convergence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 367-392, August.
    9. Mahmut Yasar & Carl H. Nelson & Roderick Rejesus, 2006. "Productivity and Exporting Status of Manufacturing Firms: Evidence from Quantile Regressions," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 142(4), pages 675-694, December.
    10. Easterly, William & Kremer, Michael & Pritchett, Lant & Summers, Lawrence H., 1993. "Good policy or good luck?: Country growth performance and temporary shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 459-483, December.
    11. repec:eee:quaeco:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:46-62 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Dan Ben-David, 1991. "Equalizing Exchange: A Study of the Effects of Trade Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 3706, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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