Three Essays on the Economics of Technological Change and Technology Adoption


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WASILUK, Karsten, 2014. Three Essays on the Economics of Technological Change and Technology Adoption

@phdthesis{Wasiluk2014Three-30718, title={Three Essays on the Economics of Technological Change and Technology Adoption}, year={2014}, author={Wasiluk, Karsten}, note={Die Dissertation ist 2015 erschienen.}, address={Konstanz}, school={Universität Konstanz} }

2014 eng Wasiluk, Karsten Three Essays on the Economics of Technological Change and Technology Adoption 2015-04-13T06:28:14Z 2015-04-13T06:28:14Z This dissertation is a collection of three independent research papers about technological change and technology adoption. In these papers, I develop specific models to analyze how the process of technological change in the economy is affected by different factors. The first two chapters consider endogenous growth models to investigate the determinants of investment in research and development. The third chapter focuses on technology adoption by firms to study how new technologies enter the market.<br /><br />The first chapter presents an endogenous growth model that captures the origins of path dependence and technological lock-in and introduces a mechanism of induced innovation, which can trigger new research. Imperfect spillovers of secondary development can make the development of new technologies unattractive until research ceases in the long run. Changes in the relative supply of primary factors act as a stimulus for research as new technologies are better suited for the new environment. A simulation using changes of crude oil prices in the US shows the quantitative significance of the model's implications. The model is able to explain long waves of economic development where growth cycles are triggered by changes in the relative factor supply. It also provides a new rationale for governmental regulations such as Pigouvian taxes and pollution permits as they can stimulate innovation and provide the base for the development of “green” technologies.<br /><br />The second chapter analyzes the effect of imitation on the rate of technological progress in an endogenous growth model. Quality leaders protect themselves from imitation by secondary development, which increases technological progress. Nevertheless, lower intellectual property rights protection reduces the incentives to enter the research sector, which lowers innovation by outsiders. Simulations show that the net effect of increased imitation on the growth rate is ambiguous - it can be positive, negative, or inversely U-shaped, depending on the productivity of secondary research. Lower patent protection also reduces monopoly distortions in the aggregate economy so that output, the wage rate, and welfare is typically increased.<br /><br />The third chapter studies the effect of demographic change on the technology distribution of an economy and on aggregate productivity growth. In the quantitative dynamic model, firms decide on employment and the technology they use subject to an aging workforce. Firms with a higher share of elderly workers update their technology less often and prefer older technologies than firms with a younger workforce. The shorter expected worklife of elderly workers makes firms reluctant to train them for new technologies. I calibrate the model for the German economy and simulate the projected demographic change. The results indicate that labor force aging reduces the realized annual productivity growth rate by 0.17 percentage points between 2010–2025. Wasiluk, Karsten

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