The diffusion of innovations in protected industries: the textile industry
The diffusion of the shuttleless loom, a major innovation in the textile industry, has been relatively slow in spite of the undisputed improvement with respect to the conventional shuttle loom used for weaving textiles. The diffusion of shuttleless looms in industrialized countries is analysed in the framework of an epidemic diffusion model where the diffusion speed parameter is allowed to vary. Of the various factors affecting the speed of diffusion, trade liberalization seems to have the most potent impact in accelerating diffusion. This finding is consistent with the idea that trade liberalization is conducive to speeding up the diffusion of innovations.