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Leaders and followers: Perspectives on the Nordic model and the economics of innovation

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  • Stiglitz, Joseph E.

Abstract

What kinds of social and economic systems are most conducive to innovation? We formulate a simple model in which countries can close the gap with the technological leader, but where the cost of doing so may be so high that the country chooses to remain laggards. Observed disparities in productivity may be the result of a recognition that the cost of closing the gap exceeds benefit and there may therefore exist an international equilibrium in which there are leaders and followers. Even if it is granted that the United States is the leader and Scandinavia are followers, there are theoretical grounds for arguing that the Nordic model may in fact be better for innovation, suggesting that if the US adopted some of the Nordic institutions, innovations would be higher, and societal welfare would be improved even more.

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  • Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2015. "Leaders and followers: Perspectives on the Nordic model and the economics of innovation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 3-16.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:127:y:2015:i:c:p:3-16
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.09.005
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    Cited by:

    1. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2015. "Leaders and followers: Perspectives on the Nordic model and the economics of innovation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 3-16.
    2. repec:eee:jpolmo:v:39:y:2017:i:4:p:625-638 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Sam, Aflaki & Syed Abul, Basher & Andrea, Masini, 2016. "Does economic growth matter? Technology-push, demand-pull and endogenous drivers of innovation in the renewable energy industry," MPRA Paper 69773, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Bergner, Sören Martin & Bräutigam, Rainer & Evers, Maria Theresia & Spengel, Christoph, 2017. "The use of SME tax incentives in the European Union," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-006, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Ingvild Almås & Alexander W. Cappelen & Bertil Tungodden, 2016. "Cutthroat Capitalism versus Cuddly Socialism: Are Americans more Meritocratic and Efficiency-Seeking than Scandinavians?," CESifo Working Paper Series 6278, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2016. "The state, the market, and development," WIDER Working Paper Series 001, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Torregrosa, Sara & Pelkonen, Antti & Oksanen, Juha & Kander, Astrid, 2017. "Impact of innovation policy on firm innovation – A comparison of Finland and Sweden, 1970-2013," Lund Papers in Economic History 160, Lund University, Department of Economic History.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Technological change; Research and development; Leader–follower; Scandinavia; US;

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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