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A Schumpeterian growth model with random quality improvements

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Author Info

  • Antonio Minniti

    ()

  • Carmelo Parello

    ()

  • Paul Segerstrom

    ()

Abstract

A common assumption in the Schumpeterian growth literature is that the innovation size is constant and identical across industries. This is in contrast with the empirical evidence which shows that: (1) innovation size is not identical across industries and (2) the size distribution of profit returns from innovation is highly skewed toward the low value side, with a long tail on the high value side. In the present paper, we develop a Schumpeterian growth model that is consistent with this evidence. In particular, we assume that when a firm innovates, the size of its quality improvement is the result of a random draw from a Pareto distribution. This enables us to extend the class of quality-ladder growth models to encompass firm heterogeneity. We study the policy implications of this new setup numerically and find that it is optimal to heavily subsidize R&D for plausible parameter values. Although it is optimal to tax R&D for some parameter values, this case only occurs when the steady-state rate of economic growth is very low. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 52 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 755-791

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:52:y:2013:i:2:p:755-791

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Related research

Keywords: Schumpeterian growth; Heterogenous firms; R&D; Optimal policy; E10; L16; O31; O38;

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References

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  1. Silverberg, Gerald & Verspagen, Bart, 2007. "The size distribution of innovations revisited: An application of extreme value statistics to citation and value measures of patent significance," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 139(2), pages 318-339, August.
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  7. Basu, Susanto, 1996. "Procyclical Productivity: Increasing Returns or Cyclical Utilization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 719-51, August.
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  15. Manuel Trajtenberg, 1990. "A Penny for Your Quotes: Patent Citations and the Value of Innovations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 172-187, Spring.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stadler, Manfred, 2013. "Scientific breakthroughs, innovation clusters and stochastic growth cycles," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 60, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  2. Edwin Lai, 2013. "Cumulative Innovation, Growth and Welfare-Improving Patent Policy," 2013 Meeting Papers 854, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Viktor Slavtchev & Simon Wiederhold, 2012. "Technological Intensity of Government Demand and Innovation," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 135, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  4. Davin Chor & Edwin L.-C. Lai, 2013. "Cumulative Innovation, Growth and Welfare-Improving Patent Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 4407, CESifo Group Munich.

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