Economics of Technological Diffusion


Economics of Technological Diffusion (Madlener, V2/Ü2, WS, economics competency, in English)

For various reasons (such as emerging new technologies, problems related to resource supply and use, climate change, etc.) it is expected that in the coming decades significant technological change will happen. Thus, the challenges faced by engineers, economists, and natural scientists involved in management, plant operation or administration will rise to understand, adequately describe and—subject to certain assumptions regarding the framework conditions—to accurately predict the diffusion dynamics and potentials of new technologies and products. To this end, a significant basic knowledge in the fields of technology assessment, market analysis, cost reduction potentials, and the theories of innovation diffusion is needed. In this course, a basic knowledge in economic theory and methods related to the study of the diffusion of new technologies will be acquired and applied to innovative energy technologies. In this way the student receives a useful overview on the subject, which in many occupational areas (e.g., product development, market observation, marketing, technology assessment, and policy-making) is of increasing relevance in everyday business.


• To understand why diffusion may take a long time and often shows an S-shaped diffusion curve;
• To know what is meant by the term “diffusion of (technological) innovation” and to understand the difference between the terms “adoption” and “diffusion”;
• To be able to classify / understand diffusion research from different angles pursued in different re-search disciplines;
• To learn about economic modeling of technological diffusion;
• To understand how competing technologies influence each other’s diffusion processes;
• To better understand energy/climate policy-making based on considerations of optimal speed of technological diffusion;
• To learn about empirical research topics and approaches (through selected examples from the literature).


Basic knowledge in Microeconomics


Successful examination (100%, graded, 60 min.) or, if no. of participants is <12, alternatively an oral examination in groups of 3-4; (100%, graded, 60min.)