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Joseph Schumpeter Lecture Appropriate Growth Policy: A Unifying Framework

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  • Philippe Aghion
  • Peter Howitt

Abstract

In this lecture, we use Schumpeterian growth theory, where growth comes from quality-improving innovations, to elaborate a theory of growth policy and to explain the growth gap between Europe and the US. Our theoretical apparatus systematizes the case-by-case approach to growth policy design. The emphasis is on three policy areas that are potentially relevant for growth in Europe, namely: competition and entry, education, and macropolicy. We argue that higher entry and exit (higher firm turnover) and increased emphasis on higher education are more growth-enhancing in countries that are closer to the technological frontier. We also argue that countercyclical budgetary policies are more growth-enhancing in countries with lower financial development. The analysis thus points to important interaction effects between policies and state variables, such as distance to frontier or financial development, in growth regressions. Finally, we argue that the other endogenous growth models, namely the AK and product variety models, fail to account for the evidence on the relationship between competition, education, volatility, and growth, and consequently cannot deliver relevant policy prescriptions in the three areas we consider. (JEL: O20, O30, O40) (c) 2006 by the European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 2006. "Joseph Schumpeter Lecture Appropriate Growth Policy: A Unifying Framework," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 269-314, 04-05.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:4:y:2006:i:2-3:p:269-314
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    JEL classification:

    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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