Technological progress is not the only force that drives transformative growth in economies; for example, US growth during the 1970s was driven by the entry of millions of women and baby boomers into the labor force. However, technological advances have been an especially valuable source of growth because they tend to be “non-rival” in nature, meaning they can be used over and over, benefiting different users and driving increasing returns. And unlike other sources of growth, such as increases in the labor force, the effects of technology do not go away.
Many developing countries, including some of the poorest, have achieved significant export diversification over the past two decades, spurred by changes in technology and investments in infrastructure. Chandra, Boccardo, and Osorio (2008) observe that some degree of export diversification, as measured by the Herfindahl index, has been widespread: almost 60 percent of the developing countries diversified