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The Diffusion of Technology and Inequality Among Nations

  • Boyan Jovanovic
  • Saul Lach

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3732.

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Date of creation: Jun 1991
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3732
Note: EFG
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  1. Jovanovic, Boyan & MacDonald, Glenn M., 1988. "Competitive Diffusion," Working Papers 88-29, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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  20. Jan Fagerberg, 1987. "A technology gap approach to why growth rates differ," Working Papers Archives 1987002, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  21. Edwin Mansfield, 1984. "R&D and Innovation: Some Empirical Findings," NBER Chapters, in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 127-154 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Roger H. Gordon & Mark Schankerman & Richard H. Spady, 1985. "Estimating the Effects of R&D on Bell System Productivity: A Model of Embodied Technical Change," NBER Working Papers 1607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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