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Learning by Doing and the Choice of Technology

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  • Jovanovic, Boyan
  • Nyarko, Yaw

Abstract

In a Bayesian model of learning, the more an agent uses a technology, the better he learns its parameters. This expertise is a form of human capital. Switching to a new technology temporarily reduces expertise: the bigger the leap, the bigger the loss. This may prevent the agent from climbing the technological ladder too fast. Someone skilled may want to stick to his technology and experience no growth in the long run. But someone less skilled may want to switch technologies over and over again and, therefore, enjoy long-run growth in output. Thus, the model can give rise to overtaking. Copyright 1996 by The Econometric Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Jovanovic, Boyan & Nyarko, Yaw, 1996. "Learning by Doing and the Choice of Technology," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1299-1310, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:64:y:1996:i:6:p:1299-1310
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nyarko, Yaw, 1994. "On the Convexity of the Value Function in Bayesian Optimal Control Problems," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(2), pages 303-309, March.
    2. Nancy L. Stokey, 1991. "Human Capital, Product Quality, and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 587-616.
    3. Robert Wilson, 1975. "Informational Economies of Scale," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(1), pages 184-195, Spring.
    4. Prescott, Edward C, 1972. "The Multi-Period Control Problem Under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(6), pages 1043-1058, November.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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