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From Growth Theory to Technology Policy - Coordination Problems in Theory and Practice

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  • Tor Jakob Klette
  • Jarle Møen

Abstract

Economists, in particular Bresnahan and Trajtenberg (1995), have recently drawn attention to the importance of generic or general purpose technologies (GPTs) and their significance for economic growth. An interesting part of this research identifies coordination problems in the introduction of GPTs, and the potentially large benefits in coordinating research and product development. Thinking about information technology as a GPT, with the associated coordination problems, seems to fit well with the motivation behind governmental support schemes to IT and related high-tech industries in Norway. The first part of our study focuses on a series of such IT-programs that have been implemented in Norway from the early 1980s with the objective of coordinating the development of information technology and its application throughout the economy. We examine in some detail the largest of these IT-programs through its planning and implementation stages and emphasize how closely it is connected to recent economic analysis of GPTs. The second part of our study examines to what extent these governmental plans and subsidy schemes have been successful in creating economic results in terms of growth and profits in the IT and IT-related industries. In the final part of the paper we discuss some of the lessons about the problems with technology policy at a practical level.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Nordic Journal of Political Economy in its journal Nordic Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 25 (1999)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 53-74

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Handle: RePEc:noj:journl:v:25:y:1999:p:53-74

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  1. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1988. "Industrialization and the Big Push," NBER Working Papers 2708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1995. "Complementarities and Cumulative Processes in Models of Monopolistic Competition," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 701-729, June.
  3. Gronhaug, Kjell & Fredriksen, Tor, 1984. "Governmental innovation support in Norway : Micro- and macro-level effects," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 165-173, June.
  4. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "Multilateral Comparisons of Output, Input, and Productivity Using Superlative Index Numbers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(365), pages 73-86, March.
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  7. Trajtenberg, M. & Bresnahan, T.F., 1992. "General Purpose Technologies: "Engines of Growth"," Papers 16-92, Tel Aviv.
  8. Nick Bloom & Rachel Griffith & John Van Reenen, 1999. "Do R&D tax credits work? Evidence from an international panel of countries 1979-1994," IFS Working Papers W99/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. Kamien, Morton I & Muller, Eitan & Zang, Israel, 1992. "Research Joint Ventures and R&D Cartels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1293-306, December.
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Cited by:
  1. José Ángel Zúñiga-Vicente & César Alonso-Borrego & Francisco J. Forcadell & José I. Galán, 2014. "Assessing The Effect Of Public Subsidies On Firm R&D Investment: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 36-67, 02.
  2. Jarle Møen, 2004. "When subsidized R&D-firms fail, do they still stimulate growth? Tracing knowledge by following employees across firms," Discussion Papers 399, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  3. Kaiser, Ulrich & Kuhn, Johan M., 2012. "Long-run effects of public–private research joint ventures: The case of the Danish Innovation Consortia support scheme," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 913-927.
  4. Lööf, Hans & Heshmati, Almas, 2004. "The Impact of Public Funding on Private R&D investment: New Evidence from a Firm Level Innovation Study," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 6, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, revised 01 Mar 2005.
  5. Aghion, Philippe & David, Paul A. & Foray, Dominique, 2009. "Science, technology and innovation for economic growth: Linking policy research and practice in 'STIG Systems'," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 681-693, May.
  6. Philippe Aghion & Paul David & Dominique Foray, 2006. "Linking Policy Research and Practice in 'STIG Systems': Many Obstacles, but Some Ways Forward," Discussion Papers 06-009, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  7. Luis Aguiar & Philippe Gagnepain, 2011. "European Cooperative R&D And Firm Performance," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00622969, HAL.
  8. Elisa Barbieri & Roberto Iorio & Giuseppe Lubrano Lavadera, 2010. "Incentivi alla ricerca e sviluppo in Italia: una indagine sugli effetti della Legge 46/82," Working Papers 1003, c.MET-05 - Centro interuniversitario di Economia Applicata alle Politiche per L'industria, lo Sviluppo locale e l'Internazionalizzazione.
  9. Daniel Chudnovsky & Andrés López & Martín Rossi & Diego Ubfal, 2006. "Evaluating a Program of Public Funding of Private Innovation Activities: An Econometric Study of FONTAR in Argentina," IDB Publications 27158, Inter-American Development Bank.
  10. Bayona-Sáez, Cristina & García-Marco, Teresa, 2010. "Assessing the effectiveness of the Eureka Program," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1375-1386, December.
  11. Jarle Moen, 2005. "Is Mobility of Technical Personnel a Source of R&D Spillovers?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 81-114, January.
  12. José Miguel Benavente & Gustavo Crespi & Alessandro Maffioli, 2007. "Public Support to Firm-Level Innovation: An Evaluation of the FONTEC Program," OVE Working Papers 0507, Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE).
  13. Kjell G. Salvanes & Svein Erik Førre, 2001. "Job Creation, Heterogeneous Workers and Technical Change: Matched Worker/Plant Data Evidence from Norway," Discussion Papers 304, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  14. Hujer, Reinhard & Radić, Dubravko, 2005. "Evaluating the Impacts of Subsidies on Innovation Activities in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-43, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  15. Heshmati, Almas & Loof, Hans, 2005. "The Impact of Public Funds on Private R&D Investment: New Evidence from a Firm Level Innovation Study," Discussion Papers 11862, MTT Agrifood Research Finland.
  16. Philippe Aghion & Paul A. David & Dominique Foray, 2007. "Science, Technology and Innovation for Economic Growth: Towards Linking Policy Research and Practice in 'STIG Systems'," Discussion Papers 06-039, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, revised Oct 2008.
  17. Marco Corsino & Roberto Gabriele & Anna Giunta, 2012. "R&D Incentives: The Effectiveness Of A Place-Based Policy," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0169, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.

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