chapter  8
24 Pages

The diffusion of new technology: extensions to theory and evidence

WithPaul Stoneman, Massoud Karshenas

In this chapter, the authors report upon results deriving from a research project entitled, 'Explorations into the Theory, Empirics and Policy of Technological Diffusion', funded as part of the ESRC Research Initiative on New Technologies and the Firm. The research itself is driven by the belief that it is the use of new technology rather than the generation of new technology that improves economic performance. The observations on the diffusion of new process technologies are mirrored in observations on new product technologies. There is a growing body of theory attempting to explain the basic driving forces behind the diffusion of new process technologies. The literature on the diffusion of new product technologies is in many ways less sophisticated than that on the diffusion of new process technologies. The majority of the literature on product diffusion is probably located in marketing rather than in economics, and marketing has particularly concentrated on the epidemic approach.