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

If Technology Has Arrived Everywhere, Why Has Income Diverged?† AbstractWe study the cross-country evolution of technology diffusion over the last two centuries. We document that adoption lags between poor and rich countries have converged, while the intensity of use of adopted technologies of poor countries relative to rich countries has diverged. The evolution of aggregate productivity implied by these trends in technology diffusion resembles the actual evolution of the world income distribution in the last two centuries. Cross-country differences in adoption lags account for a significant part of the cross-country income divergence in the nineteenth century. The divergence in intensity of use accounts for the divergence during the twentieth century. (JEL N10, N70, O14, O33, O41, O47) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics American Economic Association

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

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Publisher
American Economic Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 © American Economic Association
ISSN
1945-7715
DOI
10.1257/mac.20150175
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractWe study the cross-country evolution of technology diffusion over the last two centuries. We document that adoption lags between poor and rich countries have converged, while the intensity of use of adopted technologies of poor countries relative to rich countries has diverged. The evolution of aggregate productivity implied by these trends in technology diffusion resembles the actual evolution of the world income distribution in the last two centuries. Cross-country differences in adoption lags account for a significant part of the cross-country income divergence in the nineteenth century. The divergence in intensity of use accounts for the divergence during the twentieth century. (JEL N10, N70, O14, O33, O41, O47)

Journal

American Economic Journal: MacroeconomicsAmerican Economic Association

Published: Jul 1, 2018

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