Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Trade and Idea Flows


Author Info

  • Robert E. Lucas

    (University of Chicago)

  • Francisco J. Buera


  • Fernando Alvarez

    (University of Chicago)


This paper extends the work in Alvarez, Buera, and Lucas (2007) to a collection of open economies linked by trade flows. We model the technology of an economy as described by a probability distribution of available costs --– in the sense of labor or other resource requirements --– for producing different goods. Following Kortum (1997), we call such a distribution a technology frontier. An individual potential producer is characterized by his current cost level --– a random variable drawn from the frontier distribution –-- and is also subject to a stochastic flow of new ideas –-- new cost levels. When he receives a cost idea that is better than the one he is able to produce with he adopts it and this new cost becomes his state. If he receives a higher cost idea, or no idea at all, his cost state remains unchanged. The flow of new ideas-new cost levels are random draws from the distribution of sellers to the market where a potential producer is located. As in Eaton and Kortum (2002), the distribution of sellers to a particular market is a function of the world technology frontier, the matrices of trade costs and trade barriers, and the world-wide vector of factor prices. We show that the evolution of the world technological frontier can be described by a system of delay differential equations, and present an algorithm that can be used to solve for the world technological frontier. We present numerical examples where trade barriers lead to a worse distribution of ideas, in that the technology frontier in a world with high trade barriers is stochastically dominated but the technology frontier in a world with low trade barriers.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 984.

as in new window
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:984

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Fax: 1-314-444-8731
Web page:
More information through EDIRC

Related research



No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Comin, Diego & Mestieri, Martí, 2014. "Technology Diffusion: Measurement, Causes, and Consequences," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 2, pages 565-622 Elsevier.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed011:984. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.