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Models of Technical Progress and the Golden Rule of Research

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  • Edmond S. Phelps

Abstract

The primary purpose of this paper is to present a model of technical progress and economic growth from which one can derive a Golden Rule of Research quite analogous to the Golden Rule of Accumulation. The secondary purpose is to discuss various models of technical progress. That there might exist a Golden Rule for research is not surprising since research is a kind of investment -ñ investment in technology -- just as "accumulation" denotes investment in tangible capital. Nevertheless "capital" and "technology" differ in important aspects. If, given the technology, the production of commodities is homogeneous of degree one in labor and capital goods, as is frequently postulated, then production cannot be homogeneous of degree one in labor, capital and "technology" (or the appropriate index of past research effort). Further, the production of technical progress, unlike the production of investment goods, seems unlikely to exhibit constant returns to scale in capital and labor, given the technology. Hence technology cannot be treated as an ordinary capital good. Because of this novelty that our subject presents, this paper must be highly tentative and conjectural.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d01b/d0176.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 176.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 1964
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:176

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Cited by:
  1. Charles I. Jones, . "Population and Ideas: A Theory of Endogenous Growth," Working Papers 98014, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  2. Leopoldo Yanes, . "Endogenous Technological Capability,Trade Policy and Coordination Failure: A Reconsideration of Economic Take-Off(s)," MRG Discussion Paper Series 1306, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  3. Ansgar Belke & Thorsten Polleit & Kai Geisslreither, 2006. "Nobelpreis für Wirtschaftswissenschaften 2006 an Edmund S. Phelps," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 278/2005, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
  4. Charles I. Jones, . "Sources of U.S. Economic Growth in a World of Ideas," Working Papers 98009, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  5. Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Growth: With or Without Scale Effects?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 139-144, May.

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