Discussion Paper Details

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Title: If Technology Has Arrived Everywhere, Why Has Income Diverged?

Author(s): Diego Comin and Martí Mestieri

Publication Date: May 2013

Keyword(s): great divergence, technology diffusion and transitional dynamics

Programme Area(s): Development Economics, Economic History and International Macroeconomics

Abstract: We study the lags with which new technologies are adopted across countries, and their long-run penetration rates once they are adopted. Using data from the last two centuries, we document two new facts: there has been convergence in adoption lags between rich and poor countries, while there has been divergence in penetration rates. Using a model of adoption and growth, we show that these changes in the pattern of technology diffusion account for 80% of the Great Income Divergence between rich and poor countries since 1820.

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Bibliographic Reference

Comin, D and Mestieri, M. 2013. 'If Technology Has Arrived Everywhere, Why Has Income Diverged?'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.