Entrepreneurship and Productivity: The Slow Growth of the Planned Economies
Trends in gross domestic product (GDP) and total factor productivity (TFP) growth in the former socialist economies seem to indicate that these economies were converging to unusually low long-run growth rates in the late 1980s. In this paper we develop an endogenous growth model of entrepreneurship that is able to account for the difference in long-run performance between centrally planned economies and market-oriented ones. Long-run growth rates of output and productivity are determined by the growth of the stock of managerial knowledge, which in turn depends on the share of the population involved in entrepreneurial activities and on the time that they spend on those activities. We analyze the effect of two characteristics of centrally planned economies on their growth performance. First, in centrally planned economies factors of production are distributed by the central planner to the firms' managers through a contest that uses up some of the managers' productive effort. Second, the leadership is "egalitarian", in the sense that it treats individuals with different abilities equally. We show that these two features reduce the fraction of people becoming entrepreneurs/managers, as well as their managerial effort, which in turn reduces long-run output and TFP growth. Furthermore, we find that centrally planned economies have lower income inequality and slightly higher capital-output ratios, which is consistent with these countries' experiences. (Copyright: Elsevier)
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Volume (Year): 12 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
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