The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Evidence from historical and epidemiological literatures show that epidemics tend to spread in the population according to a logistic pattern. We conjecture that the impact of new technologies on output follows a pattern of spread not unlike that of typical epidemics. After reaching a critical mass, rates of growth will accelerate until the marginal benefits of technology are fully utilized. We estimate spline functions using a GMM dynamic panel methodology for 79 countries. We use imports of machinery and equipment as a fraction of gross domestic product as a proxy for the process of technological adoption. Results confirm our hypothesis.