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Equipment Investment and Growth In Developing Countries

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  • Hendricks, Lutz

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Abstract

A large empirical literature investigates the link between "openness" and growth. Cross-country observations suggest that (i) "openness" enhances growth by increasing a country's rate of investment, and (ii) variables related to equipment investment are robustly and strongly correlated with growth rates. This paper proposes a microeconomic mechanism for the link between openness, equipment investment and growth. A dynamic general equilibrium model is developed where countries that face different prices of imported equipment grow at different rates. The proposed theory is based on the notions of technology adoption and learning. Capital productivity depends on the match between the technology embodied in capital and the level of knowledge ("experience") it is combined with in production. Experience is accumulated through "learning-by-using," where using modern capital goods is essential for learning. When making investment decisions, firms choose the type of capital that best matches the level of knowledge available over its lifetime. In developing countries, this implies investment in outdated technologies. Equipment prices affect growth through (i) the rate at which old vintages of equipment are retired (accelerated obsolescence) and (ii) the choice of technologies embodied in new investment. Both in turn change the rate of learning and technology adoption. A calibrated version of the model yields a number of predictions that are testable with microeconomic data.

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Paper provided by Arizona State University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 97/5.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:astewp:9705

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Keywords: Equipment investment; economic growth.;

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  1. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 1997. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 342-62, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Uwe Dulleck & Neil Foster, 2007. "Imported Equipment, Human Capital and Economic Growth in Developing Countries," NCER Working Paper Series 16, National Centre for Econometric Research.
  2. M. Herrerias & Vicente Orts, 2012. "Equipment investment, output and productivity in China," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 181-207, February.
  3. Mateos-Planas, Xavier, 2000. "Schooling and distortions in a vintage capital model," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0030, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  4. Mateos-Planas, Xavier, 2000. "Schooling and distortions in a vintage capital model," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0030, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  5. Araujo, Ricardo Azevedo, 2011. "Lyapunov Stability in an Evolutionary Game Theory Model of the Labor Market," MPRA Paper 29957, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Berthold Herrendorf & Arilton Teixeira, 2011. "Barriers To Entry And Development," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(2), pages 573-602, 05.
  7. Ricardo Azevedo Araujo & Gilberto Tadeu Lima, 2012. "Capital-Specific Technological Change and Human Capital Accumulation in a Model of Export-Led Growth," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 65(262), pages 275-311.
  8. Mateos-Planas, Xavier, 2004. "Technology adoption with finite horizons," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2129-2154, October.
  9. Agenor, Pierre-Richard, 2003. "The mini-integrated macroeconomic model for poverty analysis : a framework for analyzing the unemployment and poverty effects of fiscal and labor market reforms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3067, The World Bank.
  10. Stephen L. Parente, 2000. "Learning-by-Using and the Switch to Better Machines," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(4), pages 675-703, October.
  11. Araujo, Ricardo Azevedo & Lima, Gilberto Tadeu, 2011. "Embodied technological change, capital sectoral allocation and export-led growth," MPRA Paper 29810, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Varouj Aivazian & Dipak Mazumdar & Eric Santor, 2003. "Financial Constraints and Investment: Assessing the Impact of a World Bank Loan Program on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Sri Lanka," Working Papers 03-37, Bank of Canada.
  13. Ricardo Azevedo Araujo & Gilberto Tadeu Lima, 2008. "Investment-Specific Technological Change, Investment Sectoral Allocation and Human Capital Accumulation in a Model of Export-Led Growth," Anais do XXXVI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 36th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 200807211332520, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].

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