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Ambiguity attitude, R&D investments and economic growth


  • Guido Cozzi
  • Paolo Giordani



The process aimed at discovering new ideas is an economic activity whose returns are intrinsically uncertain. In a standard neo-Schumpeterian growth framework we assume that, when deciding upon R&D efforts, economic agents hold ‘ambiguous beliefs’ about the exact probability of arrival of the next vertical innovations, and face ambiguity via the α-MEU decision rule (Ghirardato et al. (2004)). Along the steady-state equilibrium the higher the agents’ ambiguity aversion (α), the lower the R&D efforts and, coeteris paribus, the overall economic performance. Consistently with a cross-country empirical evidence, this causal mechanism suggests that, together with the profitability conditions of the economy, different ‘cultural’ attitudes towards ambiguity may contribute to explain the different R&D intensities observed across countries.
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Suggested Citation

  • Guido Cozzi & Paolo Giordani, 2011. "Ambiguity attitude, R&D investments and economic growth," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 303-319, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:21:y:2011:i:2:p:303-319 DOI: 10.1007/s00191-010-0217-x

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sara Amoroso & Pietro Moncada-Paternò-Castello & Antonio Vezzani, 2017. "R&D profitability: the role of risk and Knightian uncertainty," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 331-343, February.
    2. Paolo Giordani & Luca Zamparelli, 2011. "On robust asymmetric equilibria in asymmetric R&D-driven growth economies," Decisions in Economics and Finance, Springer;Associazione per la Matematica, vol. 34(1), pages 67-84, May.
    3. Paolo Giordani, 2015. "Entrepreneurial finance and economic growth," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 115(2), pages 153-174, June.
    4. Ghiglino, Christian & Tabasso, Nicole, 2016. "Risk aversion in a model of endogenous growth," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 30-40.
    5. Giordani, Paolo E. & Schlag, Karl H. & Zwart, Sanne, 2010. "Decision makers facing uncertainty: Theory versus evidence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 659-675, August.

    More about this item


    Schumpeterian growth; R&D investments; Arrival rate of innovation; Ambiguity; Cultural attitude towards ambiguity; 032; 041; D81; Z1;

    JEL classification:

    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics


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