For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

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

by Comin, Diego; Mestieri, Martí (2018)


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.


Technology, Historiography, Historical Context, Empirical Study, Income, Wage, Wage Gap, Inequality


History of Technology, Automation

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