Investment-Specific R&D and the Decline in the Relative Price of Capital
The relative price of capital has declined at a rapid rate in the postwar period. This article provides a candidate explanation for this relative price decline--research and development that are embodied in new, more efficient investment goods. The model mimics the secular aspects of the data, and it has the property that the long-run growth rate of consumption is nontrivially determined as a function of the R and D efforts. Because growth is driven by investment in durable goods in the present model, it seems natural to assume that R and D is product-specific and that the firms producing these goods are long-lived profit centers that internalize the dynamic gains from R and D. A result of this assumption is that the growth rate in the decentralized economy is too low: the so-called business stealing effects that may cause the equilibrium growth rate to be too high in other models is internalized here in the form of planned obsolescence. Copyright 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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