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Ajustement macroéconomique aux technologies multi-usages


  • Howitt, Peter

    (Ohio State University, CIAR)

  • Aghion, Philippe

    (University College London, EBRD)


This paper examines the macroeconomic effects that follow from the introduction of what Bresnahan and Trajtenberg have called a "general-purpose technology" (GPT), such as the computer. The analysis is based on the idea that a new GPT accelerates the pace of technological change by spawning a wave of secondary innovations aimed at improving upon and realizing the potential of the original GPT. The paper analyzes the channels through which such an increase in the pace of technological change might reduce the measured level of economic activity for some period before it ultimately brings the economy to a higher growth path. Two such channels are capital-obsolescence and the failure to measure knowledge-investment in the national accounts. A simple endogenous growth model that was constructed and calibrated to the US economy, predicts that capital-obsolescence is the more significant of the two channels, and that through this channel, output can fall below its no-shock path for almost 3 decades after the introduction of a new GPT. Cet article examine les effets macroéconomiques résultant de l’introduction de ce que Bresnahan et Trajtenberg appellent une « technologie multi-usages » (TMU) comme, par exemple, la technologie informatique. L’analyse est basée sur le principe qu’une nouvelle TMU accélère le rythme de changement technologique en créant une vague d’innovations secondaires destinées à améliorer et à atteindre le potentiel de la TMU d’origine. Cet article étudie les voies à travers lesquelles une hausse du rythme de changement technologique pourrait réduire le niveau d’activité économique mesuré avant de conduire l’économie à un niveau de croissance supérieur. Deux voies sont l’obsolescence du capital et l’absence de mesure de l’investissement de la connaissance dans les comptes nationaux. Un modèle de croissance endogène simple qui a été construit et adapté à l’économie américaine prévoit que l’obsolescence du capital est la plus significative des deux voies, et que, dans ce cas, la production sera pendant près de trois décennies inférieure à ce qu’elle aurait été sans l’introduction de la nouvelle TMU.

Suggested Citation

  • Howitt, Peter & Aghion, Philippe, 1997. "Ajustement macroéconomique aux technologies multi-usages," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 73(4), pages 575-593, décembre.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:73:y:1997:i:4:p:575-593

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Trajtenberg, M., 1995. "General purpose technologies 'Engines of growth'?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 83-108, January.
    3. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    4. Leonardo Felli, 1996. "Preventing Collusion Through Discretion," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series /1996/303, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    5. Ricardo J. Caballero & Adam B. Jaffe, 1993. "How High are the Giants' Shoulders: An Empirical Assessment of Knowledge Spillovers and Creative Destruction in a Model of Economic Growth," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1993, Volume 8, pages 15-86 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Industry evolution and transition: the role of information capital," Staff Report 162, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    7. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1997. "Endogenous Growth Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011662, January.
    8. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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