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Technological Innovations: Slumps and Booms

  • Leonardo Felli

    (London School of Economics)

  • Francois Ortalo-Magne

    (London School of Economics & CEPR)

This paper documents the delayed adoption of a major technological innovation: the adoption of the diesel locomotive in the US railway industry. Contrary to other instances of major technological innovations, the delay in the adoption of the diesel locomotive was not associated with an initial slump in output. We provide a theoretical model which is consistent with both an increase and a decrease in output following the invention of a new technology. Within this model we identify the key factors that make a slump in output unlikely.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Microeconomics with number 9711002.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 18 Nov 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:9711002
Note: Type of Document - LaTex; prepared on IBM PC - EmTex; to print on PostScript; pages: 25 ; figures: separate but included
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Jovanovic, B. & Macdonald, G.M., 1988. "Competitive Diffusion," RCER Working Papers 160, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  2. Elhanan Helpman & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1994. "A Time to Sow and a Time to Reap: Growth Based on General Purpose Technologies," NBER Working Papers 4854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Chari, V V & Hopenhayn, Hugo, 1991. "Vintage Human Capital, Growth, and the Diffusion of New Technology," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1142-65, December.
  4. David, Paul A, 1990. "The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 355-61, May.
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