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Recombinant Growth

  • Martin L. Weitzman

This paper attempts to provide microfoundations for the knowledge production function in an idea-based growth model. Production of new ideas is made a function of newly reconfigured old ideas in the spirit of the way an agricultural research station develops improved plant varieties by cross-pollinating existing plant varieties. The model shows how knowledge can build upon itself in a combinatoric feedback process that may have significant implications for economic growth. The paper's main theme is that the ultimate limits to growth lie not so much in our ability to generate new ideas as in our ability to process an abundance of potentially new ideas into usable form. © 2000 the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 113 (1998)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 331-360

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:113:y:1998:i:2:p:331-360
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  1. Cowan Robin & Jonard Nicolas & Zimmermann J-B, 2004. "Evolving Networks of Inventors," Research Memorandum 018, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  2. Benjamin F. Jones, 2005. "The Burden of Knowledge and the 'Death of the Renaissance Man': Is Innovation Getting Harder?," NBER Working Papers 11360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Pier Saviotti & Koen Frenken, 2008. "Export variety and the economic performance of countries," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 201-218, April.
  4. Shekhar Aiyar & Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Omer Moav, 2008. "Technological progress and regress in pre-industrial times," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 125-144, June.
  5. Bryane Michael, 2004. "Explaining organizational change in international development: the role of complexity in anti-corruption work," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(8), pages 1067-1088.
  6. Singh, Nirvikar, 2004. "Transaction Costs, Information Technology and Development," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1460z68n, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  7. Mauro Caminati, 2006. "Knowledge growth, complexity and the returns to R&D," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 207-229, August.
  8. Robert J. Barro, 2012. "Inflation and Economic Growth," CEMA Working Papers 568, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  9. Ishtiaq P. Mahmood & Will Mitchell, 2004. "Two Faces: Effects of Business Groups on Innovation in Emerging Economies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(10), pages 1348-1365, October.
  10. Maria Rosaria Carillo & Erasmo Papagni & Fabian Capitanio, 2008. "Effects of social interactions on scientists' productivity," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 263-279, July.
  11. Ola Olsson, 2005. "Technological Opportunity and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 31-53, 01.
  12. Hendrik Hakenes & Andreas Irmen, 2005. "On the Long-Run Evolution of Technological Knowledge," CESifo Working Paper Series 1483, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Rik Wenting, 2008. "Spinoff dynamics and the spatial formation of the fashion design industry, 1858-2005," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(5), pages 593-614, September.
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