We develop a new concept of rural technology diffusion influenced by labor mobility and business relations. The technology gain effect of labor mobility increases technology diffusiveness, whereas the technology drain effect decreases it. The concept is applied to survey data from the Mekong region, a new geographic area in this context. In the econometric analysis that takes spatial correlation and geographic variables into account, technology is measured in form of the number of mobile phones per village. The results support the technology gain and drain effects and show that labor mobility and business relations can help overcome geographic obstacles to rural development.
technology diffusion mobile phones labor mobility spatial correlation rural development Southeast Asia