The Diffusion of Innovations in Swedish Industry
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The present interest of the Stockholm Institute in problems related to the diffusion of new technology goes back to 1967, when we were invited by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research in London to take part in a joint study of these problems. Today six institutes, representing Britain, Austria, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United States are engaged in the project. A first preliminary report has already been published2 and a full report will be published in 1972 according to the present plans. The Institute’s interest in the problem was further increased when, during the course of work with the long-term forecast for the period 1970–5, we realised that the annual increase of total productivity in Swedish industry during the sixties has been unusually high. Using the well-known Cobb-Douglas technique, we obtained values for the ‘trend-factor’ or the residual of about 4·5 which seems to be out of line with international standards.3 Can rapid diffusion of new technique explain part of this phenomenon?4
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