Discussion paper

DP9466 If Technology Has Arrived Everywhere, Why Has Income Diverged?

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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Citation

Comin, D and M Mestieri (eds) (2013), “DP9466 If Technology Has Arrived Everywhere, Why Has Income Diverged?”, CEPR Press Discussion Paper No. 9466. https://cepr.org/publications/dp9466