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Neoclassical Growth and the 'Trivial' Steady State

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  • Hakenes, Hendrik
  • Irmen, Andreas

Abstract

If capital is an essential input, the neoclassical growth model has a steady state with zero capital. From this, one is inclined to conclude that an economy starting without capital can never grow. We challenge this view and claim that, if the production function satisfies the Inada conditions, a take-off is possible even though the initial capital stock is zero and capital is essential. Since the marginal product of capital is initially infinite, the ‘trivial’ steady state becomes so unstable that the solution to the equation of motion involves the possibility of a take-off, even without capital. When it happens, the take-off is spontaneous; there is no causality.

Suggested Citation

  • Hakenes, Hendrik & Irmen, Andreas, 2005. "Neoclassical Growth and the 'Trivial' Steady State," CEPR Discussion Papers 4943, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4943
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    2. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1989. "Industrialization and the Big Push," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1003-1026, October.
    3. Swan, Trevor W, 2002. "Economic Growth," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 78(243), pages 375-380, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Jin Shui, 2011. "The analytical solution of balanced growth of non-linear dynamic multi-sector economic model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 410-421.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    capital accumulation; industrializtion; neoclassical growth model;

    JEL classification:

    • N60 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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