Diffusion of General Purpose Technologies
AbstractHistory and theory alike suggest that General Purpose Technologies (GPT's), such as the steam engine or electricity, may play a key role in economic growth. In a previous paper (Helpman and Trajtenberg, 1994) we incorporated this notion into a Grossman-Helpman growth model, and explored the economy-wide dynamics that a GPT generates. The present paper deals with the diffusion of the GPT over heterogeneous final-good sectors. We show that the gradual adoption of the GPT by each user sector generates a sequence of two-phased cycles, culminating in a bringing about a spell of sustained growth. We also analyze the welfare implications of the order of adoption, by way of numerical simulations. As a diffusion of the transistor (the first embodiment of semiconductors, the dominant GPT of our era), and seek to characterize both the early adopters and the laggards in terms of the parameters of the model.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5773.
Date of creation: Sep 1996
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as General Purpose Technologies and Economic Growth, Helpman, E., ed., Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998.
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Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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Other versions of this item:
- Helpman, E. & Trajtenberg, M., 1996. "Diffusion of General Purpose Technologies," Papers, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies 24-96, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
- O10 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
- O30 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
- O41 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
- E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
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- Trajtenberg, M. & Bresnahan, T.F., 1992.
"General Purpose Technologies: "Engines of Growth","
Papers, Tel Aviv
16-92, Tel Aviv.
- Judd, Kenneth L, 1985. "On the Performance of Patents," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 567-85, May.
- David, P.A., 1989. "Computer And Dynamo: The Modern Productivity Paradox In A Not-Too Distant Mirror," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 339, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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