NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Réka Juhász

Department of Economics
Columbia University
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027

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NBER Program Affiliations: DEV
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: Columbia University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2018Spinning the Web: The Impact of ICT on Trade in Intermediates and Technology Diffusion
with Claudia Steinwender: w24590
This paper studies how information and communication technology (ICT) improvements affect trade along the value chain and international technology diffusion. We examine the impact of a revolutionary technology, the roll-out of the global telegraph network, on the 19th century cotton textile industry. First, we show that connection to the telegraph disproportionately increased trade in intermediate goods relative to final goods. We document that this was due to differences in codifiability; that is, the extent to which product specifications could be communicated at a distance using only words (and thus by sending telegrams) as opposed to inspecting a sample of the product. Second, adoption of the telegraph also facilitated international technology diffusion through the complementary mechan...
 
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