Many of the main problems facing developing countries today and tomorrow—growth, poverty reduction, inequality, food insecurity, job creation, recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and adjustment to climate change—hinge on adopting better technology, a key driver of economic development. Access to technology is not enough: firms have to adopt it. Yet it is precisely the uptake of technology that is lagging in many firms in developing countries.
Bridging the Technological Divide: Technology Adoption by Firms in Developing Countries helps open the "black box" of technology adoption by firms. The seventh volume in the World Bank's Productivity Project series, it will further both research and policy that can be used to support technology adoption by firms in developing countries.
"Diego Comin is the leading scholar in the economics profession on the past and recent history of technology adoption in developing countries. This new book by Comin, coauthored with Xavier Cirera and Marcio Cruz, deploys a remarkable new data set on technology within firms. It shows the surprising amount of variation in successful technology adoption not only between countries, but between firms in the same country and even between different parts of the same firm. This technological divide makes it more urgent than ever to find policies to promote the catchup of poor to rich countries through technological upgrading."
- William Easterly
Professor of economics and co-director of the Development Research Institute, New York University
"Why are firms in some countries so much more successful in adopting frontier technologies than others? This fascinating study of thousands of firms across industries in 11 countries provides state-of-the-art answers. From handwritten records to drones in agriculture, from simple markups to personalized pricing in retail, and from manual packaging to robots in manufacturing, technologies in countries like Brazil, Ghana, and Vietnam are placed under the microscope. I highly recommend it!"
- Charles I. Jones
Professor of economics, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University