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Specialization, Knowledge Dilution, and Scale Effects in an IO-Based Growth Model

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  • Peretto, Pietro
  • Smulders, Sjak

Abstract

We present a model where accumulation on non-rival knowledge drives growth but where the scale effect, which may be positive or negative, vanishes asymptotically. This result stems from the interaction between technological differentiation and market structure dynamics. Firms are linked to each other in networks of spillovers determined by the technological proximity of their activities. These spillovers-networks span only a fraction of the total economy and the average technological distance between firms increases with the size of the economy. When the economy expands, less related activities become profitable and specialization increases. As a result, the networks expand at a slower pace than the overall economy. In the limit, the networks cease to grow with the size of the economy. A larger economy, therefore, accumulates a larger tock of total knowledge but not necessarily a larger effective stock of knowledge that is useful to the individual firm. The reason is that the latter expands with the size of the network to which the firm belongs. The scale effect vanishes asymptotically because the stock of effective knowledge that each firm exploits is unrelated to the size of the economy when this is very large.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Duke University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 98-07.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:98-07

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  1. Peretto, Pietro F, 1996. "Sunk Costs, Market Structure, and Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(4), pages 895-923, November.
  2. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1990. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," NBER Working Papers 3223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Peretto, Pietro F., 1999. "Firm size, rivalry and the extent of the market in endogenous technological change," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(9), pages 1747-1773, October.
  4. James D. Adams & Adam B. Jaffe, 1996. "Bounding the Effects of R&D: An Investigation Using Matched Establishment-Firm Data," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(4), pages 700-721, Winter.
  5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  6. Thompson, Peter & Waldo, Doug, 1994. "Growth and trustified capitalism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 445-462, December.
  7. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  8. Yang, Xiaokai & Borland, Jeff, 1991. "A Microeconomic Mechanism for Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 460-82, June.
  9. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1995. "Schumpeterian Patterns of Innovation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 47-65, February.
  10. Peretto, Pietro F., 1999. "Cost reduction, entry, and the interdependence of market structure and economic growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 173-195, February.
  11. van de Klundert, Theo & Smulders, Sjak, 1997. " Growth, Competition and Welfare," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 99-118, March.
  12. Smulders, Sjak & van de Klundert, Theo, 1995. "Imperfect competition, concentration and growth with firm-specific R & D," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 139-160, January.
  13. Griliches, Zvi, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  14. Alwyn Young, 1995. "Growth Without Scale Effects," NBER Working Papers 5211, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi & Peretto, Pietro, 1997. "Persistence of innovative activities, sectoral patterns of innovation and international technological specialization," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 801-826, October.
  16. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
  17. Rustichini, Aldo & Schmilz, James Jr., 1991. "Research and imitation in long-run growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 271-292, April.
  18. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. 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. Peretto, Pietro F., 1997. "Industrial Development, Technological Change, and Long-RunGrowth," Working Papers 97-10, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  2. Alberto BUCCI, 2002. "Market Power, Human Capital and Growth," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2002012, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  3. Nahuis, R., 1998. "The Dynamics of a General Purpose Technology in a Research and Assimilation Model," Discussion Paper 1998-119, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

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