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Extending Broadcast Technology in the British Colonies during the 1950s

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Publication details

JournalEuropean Review of Economic History
DatePublished - Feb 2012
Issue number1
Number of pages27
Pages (from-to)23-50
Original languageEnglish


Using a rich and under-exploited set of primary sources, differential rates of take up of radio broadcast technologies across the British Empire are described and explained. The research adds a developing economy perspective to the literature on the diffusion of consumer durables. The effects of prices and incomes (captured via an “affordability index”) are qualified. The strategic concerns of suppliers and path-dependent processes are shown to have been significant. The complex effects of ethnic fragmentation on rates of diffusion within colonial territories are revealed. Debates regarding technological change in the developing world and about the diffusion of consumer durables are advanced.

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