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Globalization: modelling technology adoption timing across countries

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We propose a general model of global adoption processes. The units of observation are countries which sequentially adopt a particular technology. The probability of a given country adopting a technology is a function of other "similar" countries having adopted earlier (i.e. reflecting endogeneous factors, or "demonstration" effects), as well as a variety of country specific factors (exogenous covariates). We use data from cellular telephone industry for 184 countries. The findings support extant theories of cross-country adoption, whether generated by academicians or managers. We find that planned economies lag in adopting technologies, and that homogenous countries with a high level of economic development and population concentration are, on average, earlier adopters. Support is also found for the demonstration effect of earlier adoptions: the baseline hazard increases over time, and adoptions by countries significantly increase the likelihood of "similar" countries following their example

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