Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:
Patna, Ravi. "National Culture, Income, and Diffusion of New Products and Technologies." Wharton Research Scholars Journal. University of Pennsylvania. April 2009.


S-shaped diffusion curves can be derived mathematically using social contagion or heterogeneity in the intrinsic tendency to adopt as the chief driver of the diffusion process. I present and evaluate hypotheses as to when either social contagion or heterogeneity will be more pronounced in the diffusion process. I investigate these hypotheses using a meta-analytic test of the q/p ratio from applications of the Bass model to consumer durables. I operationalize various types of social contagion using the GLOBE dimensions of national culture and operationalize heterogeneity using income inequality. Four of the GLOBE cultural dimensions are shown to have a significant effect on new product adoption. The results suggest that social contagion is driven largely by status considerations and social normative pressures. Interestingly, GLOBE’s practices measures vary with the q/p ratio as expected, whereas GLOBE’s values measures do not. Income inequality is also shown to be a significant determinant of the diffusion process. Competing standards are shown to overwhelm both income and culture when such factors are considerations in new product adoption.

Included in

Business Commons



Date Posted: 02 September 2010


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.