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Quality Improvements in Models of Growth

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  • Robert J. Barro
  • Xavier Sala-i-Martin

Abstract

Technological progress takes the form of improvements in quality of an array of intermediate inputs to production. In an equilibrium that is standard in the literature, all research is carried out by outsiders, and success means that the outsider replaces the incumbent as the industry leader. The equilibrium research intensity involves three considerations: leading-edge goods are priced above the competitive level, innovators value the extraction of monopoly rents from predecessors, and innovators regard their successes as temporary. We show that, if industry leaders have lower costs of research, then the leaders will do all the research in equilibrium. However, if the cost advantage is not too large, then the equilibrium research intensity and growth rate depend on the existence of the competitive fringe and take on the same values as in the standard solution. We discuss the departures from Pareto optimality and analyze the determination of the economy's rate of return and growth rate.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4610.

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Date of creation: Jan 1994
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Publication status: published as With N. Gregory Mankiw, published as "Capital Mobility in Neoclassical Models of Growth", American Economic Review, Vol. 85, no. 1 (1995): 103- 115.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4610

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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. Alwyn Young, 1993. "Substitution and Complementarity in Endogenous Innovation," NBER Working Papers 4256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Paul Romer, 1991. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 217-35, June.
  5. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  6. Sergio T. Rebelo, 1992. "Long Run Policy Analysis and Long Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 3325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Young, Alwyn, 1993. "Substitution and Complementarity in Endogenous Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 775-807, August.
  8. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  9. Reinganum, Jennifer F., 1989. "The timing of innovation: Research, development, and diffusion," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 849-908 Elsevier.
  10. Elise Brezis & Paul Krugman & Daniel Tsiddon, 1991. "Leapfrogging: A Theory of Cycles in National Technological Leadership," NBER Working Papers 3886, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Smolny, Werner, 1997. "Endogenous innovations in a model of the firm: Theory and empirical application for West-German manufacturing firms," Discussion Papers 39, University of Konstanz, Center for International Labor Economics (CILE).
  2. Vincenzo Denicolò & Piercarlo Zanchettin, 2010. "Leadership Cycles," Working Papers 2010.35, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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