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When Economic Growth is Less than Exponential

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  • Christian Groth

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Karl-Josef Koch

    (University of Siegen)

  • Thomas M. Steger

    (University of Leipzig and CESifo Munich)

Abstract

This paper argues that growth theory needs a more general notion of “regularity” than that of exponential growth. We suggest that paths along which the rate of decline of the growth rate is proportional to the growth rate itself deserve attention. This opens up for considering a richer set of parameter combinations than in standard growth models. And it avoids the usual oversimplistic dichotomy of either exponential growth or stagnation. Allowing zero population growth in three different growth models (the Jones R&D-based model, a learning-by-doing model, and an embodied technical change model) serve as illustrations that a continuum of “regular” growth processes fill the whole range between exponential growth and complete stagnation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 2009-03.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation:
Date of revision: May 2009
Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:09-03

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Keywords: quasi-arithmetic growth; regular growth; semi-endogenous growth; knife-edge restrictions; learning by doing; embodied technical change;

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References

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  1. Maria J. Alvarez-Pelaez & Christian Groth, 2002. "Too little or too much R&D?," Discussion Papers 02-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  2. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1990. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," DELTA Working Papers 90-12, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  3. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1996. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," RCER Working Papers 420, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  4. Solow, Robert M., 2000. "Growth Theory: An Exposition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780195109030.
  5. Growiec, Jakub, 2008. "Knife-edge conditions in the modeling of long-run growth regularities," MPRA Paper 9956, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Mitra, Tapan, 1983. "Limits on Population Growth under Exhaustible Resource Constraints," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(1), pages 155-68, February.
  7. Raouf BOUCEKKINE & Fernando DEL RIO & Omar LICANDRO, 2002. "Embodied technological change learning-by-doing and the productivity slowdown," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2002028, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  8. John C. V. Pezzey, 2002. "Exact Measures of Income in a Hyperbolic Economy," Economics and Environment Network Working Papers 0203, Australian National University, Economics and Environment Network.
  9. Paul Romer, 1991. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Asheim, Geir B. & Buchholz, Wolfgang & Hartwick, John M. & Mitra, Tapan & Withagen, Cees, 2005. "Constant savings rates and quasi-arithmetic population growth under exhaustible resource constraints," Memorandum 23/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  11. Alwyn Young, 1998. "Growth without Scale Effects," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 41-63, February.
  12. Jones, Charles I., 2005. "Growth and Ideas," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 1063-1111 Elsevier.
  13. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 681-716, August.
  14. Hendrik Hakenes & Andreas Irmen, 2007. "On the long-run evolution of technological knowledge," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 171-180, January.
  15. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
  16. Hartwick, John M, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 972-74, December.
  17. Jakub Growiec, 2005. "Beyond the Linearity Critique: The Knife-Edge Assumption of Steady State Growth," GE, Growth, Math methods 0505003, EconWPA, revised 23 Jun 2005.
  18. Lutz G. Arnold, 2006. "The Dynamics of the Jones R&D Growth Model," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(1), pages 143-152, January.
  19. Robert M. Solow, 1994. "Perspectives on Growth Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 45-54, Winter.
  20. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Tom Holden, 2012. "Medium-frequency cycles and the remarkable near trend-stationarity of output," School of Economics Discussion Papers 1412, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  2. Bazhanov, Andrei, 2010. "Constant-utility paths in a resource-based economy," MPRA Paper 27619, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 20 Dec 2010.
  3. Holden, Tom, 2011. "Products, patents and productivity persistence: A DSGE model of endogenous growth," Dynare Working Papers 4, CEPREMAP.
  4. Grossmann, Volker, 2009. "Entrepreneurial innovation and economic growth," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 602-613, December.
  5. Antonio Minniti & Carmelo Parello & Paul Segerstrom, 2013. "A Schumpeterian growth model with random quality improvements," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 755-791, March.
  6. Grossmann, Volker, 2008. "Entrepreneurial Innovation and Sustained Long-Run Growth without Weak or Strong Scale Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 3389, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Growiec, Jakub, 2010. "Knife-edge conditions in the modeling of long-run growth regularities," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1143-1154, December.
  8. Groth, Christian & Wendner, Ronald, 2011. "Learning by investing, embodiment, and speed of convergence," MPRA Paper 29008, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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