Income Inequality and Technological Adoption

Sequeira, T., M. Santos, A. Ferreira-Lopes (2017), "Income Inequality and Technological Adoption", Journal of Economic Issues, 51(4), 979-1000.

We relate technological adoption (of different technologies) with income inequality. In the process, we discover that some technologies, such as aviation, cell phones, electric production, internet, telephone, and TV, are skill-complementary in raising inequality. We construct standardized indexes of skill-complementary technological adoption for modern information and communication technologies (ICT), older ICT, production and transport technologies. We find strong evidence that older ICT and transport technologies (and less frequently modern ICT) tend to increase inequality. Additionally, we discover that results are much stronger in rich countries than in poor ones. Our results are quite robust to a series of changes in specifications, estimators, samples, and measurement of technology adoption. These results may bring insights into the design of incentive schemes for technology adoption. 2017, Journal of Economic Issues / Association for Evolutionary Economics.