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On the Long-Run Evolution of Technological Knowledge

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  • Hendrik Hakenes
  • Andreas Irmen

Abstract

This paper revisits the debate about the appropriate differential equation that governs the evolution of knowledge in models of endogenous growth. We argue that the assessment of the appropriateness of an equation of motion should not only be based on its implications for the future, but that it should also include its implications for the past. We maintain that the evolution of knowledge is plausible if it satisfies two asymptotic conditions: Looking forwards, infinite knowledge in finite time should be excluded, and looking backwards, knowledge should vanish towards the beginning of time (but not before). Our key results show that, generically, the behavior of the processes under scrutiny is either plausible in the future and implausible in the past or vice versa, or implausible at both ends of the time line.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1483.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1483

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Keywords: endogenous technological change; Malthus; long-run growth;

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  1. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Working papers 527, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  3. Ola Olsson, 2005. "Technological Opportunity and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 31-53, 01.
  4. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Growiec, Jakub, 2008. "Knife-edge conditions in the modeling of long-run growth regularities," MPRA Paper 9956, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Dirk Niepelt & Martin Gonzalez-Eiras, 2007. "Sustaining Social Security," 2007 Meeting Papers 95, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "Recombinant Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 331-360, May.
  4. Christian Groth & Karl-Josef Koch & Thomas M. Steger, 2009. "When economic growth is less than exponential," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 129-09, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.

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