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Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth

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  • Grossman, Gene M
  • Helpman, Elhanan

Abstract

The authors develop a model of repeated product improvements in a continuum of sectors. Each product follows a stochastic progression up a quality ladder. Progress is not uniform across sectors, so an equilibrium distribution of quality evolves over time. But the rate of aggregate growth is constant. The growth rate responds to profit incentives in the R&D sector. The authors explore the welfare properties of the model. Then they relate their approach to an alternative one that views product innovation as a process of generating an ever-expanding range of horizontally differentiated products. Finally, the authors apply the model to issues of resource accumulation and international trade. Copyright 1991 by The Review of Economic Studies Limited.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 58 (1991)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 43-61

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Handle: RePEc:bla:restud:v:58:y:1991:i:1:p:43-61

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  1. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
  2. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  3. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  4. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 8904, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  5. Glenn C. Loury, 1976. "Market Structure and Innovation," Discussion Papers 256, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Judd, Kenneth L, 1985. "On the Performance of Patents," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 567-85, May.
  7. Partha Dasgupta & Joseph Stiglitz, 1980. "Uncertainty, Industrial Structure, and the Speed of R&D," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(1), pages 1-28, Spring.
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