Technologies that are used differ vastly across and within countries. It is commonly observed that technologies that would improve productivity are not adopted. This paper explains the failure to adopt new technologies through costs of adoption for people of different age. We set out an overlapping generations model with majority voting that predicts a relationship between the age composition of an economy and economic growth. We also consider the effects of more intense competition on technology adoption. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.