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Appropriate Technology and Growth

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  • Susanto Basu
  • David N. Weil

Abstract

We present a model of growth and technology transfer based on the idea that technologies are specific to particular combinations of inputs. We argue that this model is more realistic than the usual specification, in which an improvement in any technique for producing a given good improves all other techniques for producing that good. Our model implies that technology improvements will diffuse only slowly, even if there are no barriers to the flow of knowledge and no adoption costs. On the other hand, although our basic production technology is of the `Ak' variety, technology diffusion implies that countries with identical policies and different initial incomes do eventually converge to the same level of per-capita income. We argue that a model with appropriate technology and technology diffusion is more appealing, and has more realistic predictions for long-run convergence and growth, than either the standard neoclassical model or simple endogenous-growth models.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5865.

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Date of creation: Dec 1996
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Publication status: published as Quarterly Journal of Economics (November 1998).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5865

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  1. Quah, Danny, 1993. "Empirical cross-section dynamics in economic growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 426-434, April.
  2. De Long, J Bradford & Summers, Lawrence H, 1991. "Equipment Investment and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 445-502, May.
  3. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1991. "Convergence across States and Regions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 107-182.
  4. 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, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
  5. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 1993. "Changes in the wealth of nations," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-16.
  6. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  8. Lee, Jong-Wha, 1995. "Capital goods imports and long-run growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 91-110, October.
  9. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
  10. Stokey, Nancy L, 1991. "The Volume and Composition of Trade between Rich and Poor Countries," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 63-80, January.
  11. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Convergence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 223-51, April.
  12. Durlauf, Steven N & Johnson, Paul A, 1995. "Multiple Regimes and Cross-Country Growth Behaviour," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 365-84, Oct.-Dec..
  13. Clark, Gregory, 1987. "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed? Lessons from the Cotton Mills," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 141-173, March.
  14. Atkinson, Anthony B & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "A New View of Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 79(315), pages 573-78, September.
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