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Optimal growth policy: The role of skill heterogeneity


  • Grossmann, Volker
  • Steger, Thomas M.


A simple semi-endogenous growth model is employed to show that optimal subsidization of both R&D and capital costs is independent of the distribution of R&D skills in the workforce. This holds despite the empirically supported fact that a higher R&D subsidy rate raises wages of R&D workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Grossmann, Volker & Steger, Thomas M., 2013. "Optimal growth policy: The role of skill heterogeneity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 162-164.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:119:y:2013:i:2:p:162-164 DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2013.01.032

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jones, Charles I & Williams, John C, 2000. "Too Much of a Good Thing? The Economics of Investment in R&D," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 65-85, March.
    2. Grossmann, Volker & Steger, Thomas & Trimborn, Timo, 2013. "Dynamically optimal R&D subsidization," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 516-534.
    3. Goolsbee, Austan, 1998. "Does Government R&D Policy Mainly Benefit Scientists and Engineers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 298-302, May.
    4. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, June.
    5. Volker Grossmann & Thomas M. Steger & Timo Trimborn, 2016. "Quantifying Optimal Growth Policy," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 18(3), pages 451-485, June.
    6. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Interindustry Technology Flows and Productivity Growth: A Reexamination," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 241-250 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Charles I. Jones & John C. Williams, 1998. "Measuring the Social Return to R&D," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1119-1135.
    8. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 2005. "Growth with Quality-Improving Innovations: An Integrated Framework," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 67-110 Elsevier.
    9. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-784, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Ping-ho & Chu, Hsun & Lai, Ching-Chong, 2015. "Do R&D subsidies necessarily stimulate economic growth?," MPRA Paper 66061, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Grossmann, Volker & Steger, Thomas M. & Trimborn, Timo, 2013. "The macroeconomics of TANSTAAFL," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PA), pages 76-85.

    More about this item


    Optimal growth policy; R&D skills; R&D subsidy; Semi-endogenous growth; heterogeneity;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General


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