Zvi Griliches on Diffusion, Lags and Productivity Growth …Connecting the Dots
The three most extensively cited papers by Zvi Griliches deal with the diffusion of innovations, distributed lags and the sources of the growth of measured total factor productivity, respectively. The close economic connections between these dynamic phenomena remained largely unexplored and were at best only implicit in his published writings until late in his career. Yet, from his later reflective writings, it is clear that Griliches not only recognized the existence of those connections, but regarded them to be critically important in understanding the determinants of the pace of economic growth. The present paper proceeds in that spirit. It examines the relationship between Gliches’ pioneering study of the diffusion of hybrid corn and the subsequent development of economic theories explaining diffusion phenomenon. Rather than offering a comprehensive survey of the literature, its aim is to expose the connections with lagged investment in capital-embodied innovations, and formalize of the micro-to macro links between technological diffusion dynamics and the pace of measured productivity growth. The heterodox, “evolutionary economics” aspects of this approach to explaining technological ‘transitions’ may be thought to be a significant yet under-appreciated part of Griliches’ intellectual legacy.
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- Ireland, N.J. & Stoneman, P, 1984. "Innovation and Diffusion - The Implications of an Integrated Approach," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 254, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- David, P.A., 1989. "Computer And Dynamo: The Modern Productivity Paradox In A Not-Too Distant Mirror," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 339, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Ireland, N & Stoneman, P, 1986. "Technological Diffusion, Expectations and Welfare," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 283-304, July.
- David, Paul A. & Olsen, Trond E., 1992. "Technology adoption, learning spillovers, and the optimal duration of patent-based monopolies," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 517-543, December.
- Stoneman, Paul L & David, Paul A, 1986. "Adoption Subsidies vs Information Provision as Instruments of Technology Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(380a), pages 142-50, Supplemen.
- Alan B. Krueger & Timothy Taylor, 2000. "An Interview with Zvi Griliches," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 171-189, Spring.
- Griliches, Zvi, 1994.
"Productivity, R&D, and the Data Constraint,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 1-23, March.
- Rosenberg, Nathan, 1972. "Factors affecting the diffusion of technology," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 3-33.
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