An Exploration of Technology Diffusion

B. Hobijn, D. Comin

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We develop a model that, at the aggregate level, is similar to the one-sector neoclassical growth model; at the disaggregate level, it has implications for the path of observable measures of technology adoption. We estimate it using data on the diffusion of 15 technologies in 166 countries over the last two centuries. Our results reveal that, on average, countries have adopted technologies 45 years after their invention. There is substantial variation across technologies and countries. Newer technologies have been adopted faster than old ones. The cross-country variation in the adoption of technologies accounts for at least 25 percent of per capita income differences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2031-2059
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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