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Engines of Growth: Domestic and Foreign Sources of Innovation

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  • Jonathan Eaton
  • Samuel Kortum

Abstract

We examine productivity growth since World War II in the five leading research economies: West Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the United States. Available data on the capital-output ratio suggests that these countries grew as they did because of their ability to adopt more productive technologies, not because of capital deepening per se. We present a multicountry model of tech- nological innovation and diffusion which has the implication that, for a wide range of parameter values, countries converge to a common growth rate, with relative productivities depending on the speed with which countries adopt technologies developed at home and abroad. Using parameter values that fit a cross section of data on productivity, research, and patenting, we simulate the growth of the five countries, given initial productivity levels in 1950 and research efforts in the sub- sequent four decades. Based on plausible assumptions about "technology gaps" that existed among these countries in 1950 we can explain their growth experi- ences quite successfully. Specifically, the simulations capture the magnitude of the slowdown in German, French, and Japanese productivity growth and the relative constancy of U.K. and U.S. growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Boston University, Institute for Economic Development in its series Boston University - Institute for Economic Development with number 63.

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Date of creation: Jun 1995
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Handle: RePEc:fth:bosecd:63

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References

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  1. Fagerberg, Jan, 1994. "Technology and International Differences in Growth Rates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1147-75, September.
  2. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 1994. "International Patenting and Technology Diffusion," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 50, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  3. Eaton, J. & Kortum, S., 1995. "Trade in Ideas: Patenting and Productivity onn the OECD," Papers 34, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  4. Barro, Robert J. & Mankiw, N Gregory & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1994. "Capital Mobility in Neoclassical Models of Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1019, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
  6. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  7. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1990. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," NBER Working Papers 3223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 1995. "Transitional Dynamics and Economic Growth in the Neoclassical Model," NBER Working Papers 3185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. John F. Helliwell & Alan Chung, 1991. "Macroeconomic Convergence: International Transmission of Growth and Technical Progress," NBER Chapters, in: International Economic Transactions: Issues in Measurement and Empirical Research, pages 388-436 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Ben-David, D. & Loewy, M.B., 1996. "Free Trade and Long-Run Growth," Papers 32-96, Tel Aviv.
  12. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Endogenous Innovation in the Theory of Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 23-44, Winter.
  13. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Quality Ledders In The Theory Of Growth," Papers 148, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  14. Merton Peck, 1962. "Inventions in the Postwar American Aluminum Industry," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 279-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Elhanan Helpman & David T. Coe, 1993. "International R&D Spillovers," IMF Working Papers 93/84, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Frank R. Lichtenberg, 1993. "R&D Investment and International Productivity Differences," NBER Working Papers 4161, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Paul M. Romer, 1994. "The Origins of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 3-22, Winter.
  18. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
  19. Richard R. Nelson & Edmond S. Phelps, 1965. "Investment in Humans, Technological Diffusion and Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 189, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  20. Samuel S. Kortum, 1997. "Research, Patenting, and Technological Change," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1389-1420, November.
  21. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross & DEC, 1994. "Capital fundamentalism, economic development, and economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1285, The World Bank.
  22. Johnson, G.E. & Stafford, F.P., 1993. "International Competition and Real Wages," Working Papers 323, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  23. repec:fth:michin:323 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Samuel Kortum, 1995. "Research and productivity growth: theory and evidence from patent data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-2, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  25. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  26. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
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