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Ajustement macroéconomique aux technologies multi-usages

Listed author(s):
  • 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.

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Article provided by Société Canadienne de Science Economique in its journal L'Actualité économique.

Volume (Year): 73 (1997)
Issue (Month): 4 (décembre)
Pages: 575-593

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Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:73:y:1997:i:4:p:575-593
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