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Economic Brief

April 7, 2021

Richmond Fed Researchers Revive ‘Big Push’ Possibilities for Economic Growth

The Richmond Fed’s latest Economic Brief suggests that a “big push” to reduce barriers to technology adoption could generate large economic gains in some low-income countries.

The researchers have integrated two theories of technology adoption — an old one that emphasized coordination failures when firms’ technology-adoption decisions are highly complementary and a newer one that emphasizes technology-adoption distortions (barriers), such as high taxes or monopoly power. This unified theory indicates that reducing distortions in so-called “big push” regions could unleash massive amounts of economic growth.

The Richmond Fed’s Economic Brief series provides essays on economic issues and trends. Sign up to receive an email notification when a new essay is posted.


As part of our nation’s central bank, the Richmond Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks working together with the Board of Governors to support a healthy economy and deliver on our mission to foster economic stability and strength. We connect with community and business leaders across the Fifth Federal Reserve District — including the Carolinas, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and most of West Virginia — to monitor economic conditions, address issues facing our communities, and share this information with monetary and financial policymakers. We also work with banks to ensure they are operating safely and soundly, supply financial institutions with currency that’s fit for distribution, and provide a safe and efficient way to transfer funds through our nation’s payments system.

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