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Market Size, Trade, and the Resistance to the Adoption of Better Technology

  • Klaus Desmet


    (Department of Economics Universidad Carlos III)

  • Stephen L. Parente

Why is the adoption of more productive technologies more fiercely resisted in some societies than in others? This paper examines the role of market size and free trade in determining whether firms or workers resist the adoption of more advanced technologies. It puts forth a model whereby the price elasticity of demand for each industry's product is an increasing function of the economy's population size. A more elastic demand lowers the resistance to technology adoption because the drop in the price of the industry's output that follows the adoption of a cost-saving technology is associated with a larger increase in industry's revenue. We demonstrate this mechanism numerically and provide empirical support for this theory.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2006 Meeting Papers with number 264.

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Date of creation: 03 Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:264
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA
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  1. Wacziarg, Romain & Welch, Karen Horn, 2003. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence," Research Papers 1826, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  2. Francisco Alcalá & Antonio Ciccone, 2003. "Trade and Productivity," Working Papers 12, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  3. Rodrigues, Mauro, 2010. "Import substitution and economic growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 175-188, March.
  4. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  5. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  6. Thomas J. Holmes & James A. Schmitz, 1998. "A gain from trade: more research, less obstruction," Staff Report 245, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," NBER Working Papers 10501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David Hummels & Volodymyr Lugovskyy, 2005. "Trade in Ideal Varieties: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 11828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2005. "A simple model of firm heterogeneity, international trade, and wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-20, January.
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