Technology adoption during the process of development: Implications for long run prospects
Macroeconomic Dynamics, April 2019. Vol. 23, Issue Nº 3. Pages 907-942.
Abstract: Most papers studying the impacts of technology adoption on income trajectories assume that firms adopt frontier technologies when available. If these technologies are skill intensive, less-developed economies may fail in successfully implementing them and may become trapped in a low-growth equilibrium. Within a Schumpeterian growth model, we show that differences in adoption barriers and incentives to the accumulation of skills produce differences in the technology level that is optimal to adopt. If the economy is not overly distorted, copying nonfrontier technologies helps compensating for the scarcity of skills and increases the likelihood of copying frontier technologies in the long run. If distortions are significant, it may be optimal to copy less-advanced technologies even in the long run. If adoption is not a skill-intensive activity, then copying frontier technologies is always optimal; all economies achieve a high-growth equilibrium and only income differences persist in the long run.
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