Department of Economics
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
NBER Program Affiliations:
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: Columbia University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|July 2020||Technology Adoption and Productivity Growth: Evidence from Industrialization in France|
with , : w27503
We construct a novel dataset to examine the process of technology adoption during a period of rapid technological change: The diffusion of mechanized cotton spinning during the Industrial Revolution in France. Before mechanization, cotton spinning was performed in households, while production in firms only emerged with the new technology around 1800. This allows us to isolate the firm productivity distribution of new technology adopters. We document several stylized facts that can explain the well-documented puzzle that major technological breakthroughs tend to be adopted slowly across firms and – even after being adopted – take time to be reflected in higher aggregate productivity: The productivity of firms in mechanized cotton spinning was initially highly dispersed. Over the subsequent...
|May 2018||Spinning the Web: The Impact of ICT on Trade in Intermediates and Technology Diffusion|
with : w24590
This paper studies how information and communication technology (ICT) improvements affect trade along the value chain and international technology diffusion. We examine the impact of a revolutionary technology, the roll-out of the global telegraph network, on the 19th century cotton textile industry. First, we show that connection to the telegraph disproportionately increased trade in intermediate goods relative to final goods. We document that this was due to differences in codifiability; that is, the extent to which product specifications could be communicated at a distance using only words (and thus by sending telegrams) as opposed to inspecting a sample of the product. Second, adoption of the telegraph also facilitated international technology diffusion through the complementary mechan...