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R&D Subsidies and Economic Growth

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  • Carl Davidson
  • Paul Segerstrom

Abstract

We present an endogenous growth model in which some firms devote resources to developing higher-quality products (innovative R&D) and other firms devote resources to copying these products (imitative R&D). Although consumers benefit from the knowledge created by both types of R&D activities, only innovative R&D subsidies lead to faster economic growth; imitative R&D subsidies actually lead to slower economic growth. A key assumption driving these conclusions is that R&D activities are subject to decreasing returns. When R&D activities are subject to constant returns, as is commonly assumed, the only equilibrium with both innovation and imitation is unstable.

Suggested Citation

  • Carl Davidson & Paul Segerstrom, 1998. "R&D Subsidies and Economic Growth," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(3), pages 548-577, Autumn.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:29:y:1998:i:autumn:p:548-577
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    Cited by:

    1. Chu, Hsiao-Lei, 2009. "Product cycles among three regions with differential R&D abilities," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 177-183, January.
    2. Tapio Palokangas, 2005. "Optimal Technology Policy with Imitation and Risk-Averting Households," DEGIT Conference Papers c010_011, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    3. Wang, Vey & Lai, Chung-Hui, 2010. "Franchise Fee, Tax/Subsidy Policies and Economic Growth," MPRA Paper 27745, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Zeng, Jinli, 2001. "Innovative vs. imitative R&D and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 499-528, April.
    5. Zeng, Jinli & Zhang, Jie, 2007. "Subsidies in an R&D growth model with elastic labor," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 861-886, March.
    6. Hart, Rob, 2004. "Growth, environment and innovation--a model with production vintages and environmentally oriented research," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 1078-1098, November.
    7. Mayank GUPTA, 2015. "Revisiting Neoclassical Economic Growth: A Survey in the Literature," Journal of Economics and Political Economy, KSP Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 118-136, March.
    8. Simon Wiederhold, 2012. "The Role of Public Procurement in Innovation: Theory and Empirical Evidence," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 43.
    9. Glass, Amy Jocelyn, 2003. "Substitution in R&D across countries," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 373-390, December.
    10. Chen, Ping-ho & Chu, Hsun & Lai, Ching-Chong, 2015. "Do R&D subsidies necessarily stimulate economic growth?," MPRA Paper 66061, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Segerstrom, Paul S, 2000. "The Long-Run Growth Effects of R&D Subsidies," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 277-305, September.
    12. repec:eee:jetheo:v:169:y:2017:i:c:p:551-602 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Marta Aloi & Laurence Lasselle, 2001. "Growing through Subsidies," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 200109, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
    14. Silva, Susana & Soares, Isabel & Afonso, Oscar, 2013. "Economic and environmental effects under resource scarcity and substitution between renewable and non-renewable resources," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 113-124.
    15. Philippe Aghion & Christopher Harris & Peter Howitt & John Vickers, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 467-492.
    16. Fidel Pérez Sebastián, 2001. "Growth And Public Support To Innovation And Imitation," Working Papers. Serie AD 2001-31, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    17. Hoernig, Steffen H., 2003. "Asymmetry, stability and growth in a step-by-step R&D-race," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 245-257, April.
    18. Collins, Tracy, 2015. "Imitation: A catalyst for innovation and endogenous growth," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 299-307.
    19. Engel, Christoph & Kleine, Marco, 2015. "Who is afraid of pirates? An experiment on the deterrence of innovation by imitation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 20-33.

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