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Research Areas

  • Macroeconomics
  • Technology
  • Innovation
  • Economic Development
  • International economics

Diego Comin

Diego Comin is a Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College. He is also a Research Fellow at the Center for Economic Policy Research and a Faculty Research Fellow in the National Bureau of Economic Research's Economic Fluctuations and Growth Program.

Professor Comin has published multiple articles in top economic journals on the topics of business cycles, technology diffusion, economic growth, structural transformations and firm volatility. He has also authored case studies published in the book Drivers of Competitiveness. Comin's research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the European Commission, the Gates Foundation, the C.V. Star Foundation, INET and the Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung (ZEW).

Comin is the Co-lead of the Firms and Technology program at the World Bank. Additionally, he is a founding partner of Linktia, and has co-founded the Malaysian Public-Private Research Network (PPRN), a public institution that provided solutions to companies' technological problems by matching them with researchers that were experts in the relevant field.

Comin has developed macroeconomic models of technology and business cycles for the design of policies at the European Central Bank (ECB), and the European Commission. Additionally, Comin has advised the Prime Minister of Malaysia, and been a consultant for the IMF, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Citibank, Danish Science Ministry, and the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) of the government of Japan. Recently, Microsoft has used the models of technology diffusion developed in Comin and Hobijn (2010) to forecast the diffusion of their cloud services.

Professor Comin received his PhD in Economics from Harvard University in 2000. Since then, he has been Assistant Professor of Economics at New York University and Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School (HBS) where he taught both in the MBA and in executive programs. He has also designed and led immersion programs in Peru, China and Malaysia for which he received the Apgar Prize for Innovation in Teaching.

Malaysia Beyond 2020

During more than a decade, the Malaysian economy has showed signs of fatigue that indicate that productive opportunities are diminishing. What is causing the slowdown? Can the government do something about it? Are the lessons from Malaysia applicable to other emerging and advanced economies? This book presents a new analytical framework to explore these questions. The diagnostic is that the main root cause of the economic slowdown is the scarcity of technological knowledge by Malaysian companies. Solving this problem requires a new approach to policy-making that recognizes the importance of managing knowledge in society to create a knowledge friendly ecosystem where knowledge is created and allocated efficiently. A detail guide is provided about how to attain such an ecosystem starting from the current environment in Malaysia.

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Mapping Patterns of Technological Adoption Across Countries

Presentation at the New Champions Meeting, World Economic Forum, Dalian 2013.


Hotel Survey

Survey directed to managers in the hotel industry to assess the factors that affect development and operation of hotels. If you're a hotel manager, I would appreciate that you take five minutes to fill it.


My Data Sets

CHAT. The cross-country historical adoption (chat) dataset is an unbalanced panel dataset with information on the adoption of over 100 technologies in more than 150 countries since 1800. We discuss the main aim of CHAT, its scope and limitations, as well as several ways in which we have used the data so far and ways to potentially use the data for other research.

Primitive Technology. The primitive technology dataset measures at three points in history the presence of specific technologies in the territories that correspond to modern day countries. The periods covered are 1000 B.C., 0 A.D. and 1500 A.D. (i.e. right before the colonization). The technologies in the data set cover five wide sectors: agriculture, transportation, communication, military and industry.

In the News

"How AI will affect the economy?," Vanguardia Dossier.

"Technological Factor Productivity," UCSD podcast, 4/17/2023.

"Your employer is (probably) unprepared for artificial intelligence," The Economist, 7/16/2023.

"Whoever leads in artificial intelligence in 2030 will rule the world until 2100," Brookings, 1/17/2020.

"Economics students stuck in Cusco, Peru during December protests," The Dartmouth, 1/10/23

"Destroy, then build, for true business transformation," Digital Transformation, Raconteur #0846 11/12/2022

Tecnología, Innovación y macroeconomía Podcast for Ceteris Paribus, Penn Initiative for the Study of Markets 11/04/2022

“Poverty, inequality and technology” Descrifrado 11/6/2022

"U.S. workers have gotten way less productive. No one is sure why." Washington Post, 10/31/22

"The 1970s and now" CSM, 7/25/22

"Productivity Gains during the pandemic" New York Times, 7/11/2022

‘Really out of control.’ America digs in for inflation fight. Christian Science Monitor 6/17/2022

"New Study Finds That Income, Not Prices, Drives the Economy" Dartmouth News 3/25/21

"When Life Returns to Normal, Not All Tech Companies Will Thrive" Bloomberg 1/22/21

How can companies in the digital economy best respond to the COVID-19 pandemic? 5/27/20

"Malaysia Gets A New Finance Minister" Global Finance - The Magazine 4/7/2020

"Why America is Losing the Toilet Race" NPR 2/25/2020

"Presentation at the ECB conference on Challenges on the Digital Age" July 2019

"Dartmouth 2019 Valedictorian Ruoni Wang " 6/6/19

"Frame final conference"

Video: "On the relevance of Non-homotheticities for modeling innovation and inequality" Lund, October 2018

"Brussels Debate on Innovation Policy", October 2018

Podcast: "The impact of Innovation" 9/28/2018

"Publicly funded applied research pays off: The effects of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft on firm performance"

"The Great Divergence" featured at the AEA webpage, July 2018

"IMF-Bank of Spain Conference: Spain from Recovery to Resilience" , April 3, 2018

"Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Euro Area", March 13, 2017

The people who inspired me in 2016 by Satya Nadella, January 2017

Presentation at Microsoft Headquarters on 9/15/16

Classes embrace hands-on  learning
Dartmouth Now

Interview by Jaime de Althaus, La Hora N, Peru 12/11/15

The Creed Of Speed:
The Economist Dec 5th 2015

50 Million Users: The Making of an ‘Angry Birds’ Internet Meme, Timothy Appel. WSJ, Mar 20, 2015

Interview ABC, 4/16/15

Presentation of Economic Program, Ciudadanos

"Interview in Astro Malaysia"

"Linking industry and Academics"
New Straits Time

The evolution of technology diffusion and the Great Divergence
Brookings Blum Roundtable

Diego Comin

Los ricos son vulnerables
El Pais Internacional

Moises Naim

Technology as a Driver of Growth (or Not)
New York Times

Eduardo Porter

Technology and Income Dynamics: 1800-2000

Diego Comin, Marti Mestieri

In Kenya, turning savannah into gold
Boston Globe

Farah Stockman

Heavy Technology: The Process of Technological Diffusion over Time and Space

Diego Comin, Mikhail Dmitriev, Esteban Rossi-Hansberg

Students on Immersion Experience Program Present Findings to Malaysian Prime Minister HBS Press Release
HBS Press Release
January 20, 2012

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