NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Did Computer Technology Diffuse Quickly?: Best and Average Practice in Mainframe Computers, 1968-1983

Shane M. Greenstein

NBER Working Paper No. 4647
Issued in February 1994
NBER Program(s):   PR

An economy benefits from advances in technical frontiers only when new technology comes into general use. This paper measures the diffusion of computing equipment at a time when computing technology underwent dramatic technical improvement. These data shed light on the long lag between advances in computing technology and advances in economic performance of users. There is little evidence that long lags were produced by the 'slow diffusion' of new technology embodied in new hardware. 'Average practice' in computing advanced as rapidly as 'best practice,' lagging it by a maximum of 6 to 7 years.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w4647

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