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The inhibited (exhibited) spread of innovations

Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich (2008): The inhibited (exhibited) spread of innovations.

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Abstract

This note makes general statements about standard models of the diffusion of innovations. Its premise is a familiar idea that innovations are socially-learned changes that spread like wildfires across diverse populations. However, the rate at which innovations spread is subject to the forces of exhibition and inhibition. Exhibitors promote the spread of innovations; inhibitors subjugate them. Hence, where the forces of subjugation are stronger than the forces of promotion, it is the slow spread, rather than the lack, of innovations which undermines the competitiveness of nations, and consequently frustrates economic performance. This suggests a need for a simple and more realistic model. Since the analytical components (basic equations and statistical inference) of the needed model are readily available, this note attempts a synthesis. Unfortunately in its current version the note is incomplete, and therefore makes only a tentative concluding remark. Even so, there is enough insight to warrant comment.

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