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Machines as Engines of Growth

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  • Zeira, Joseph

Abstract

This paper builds a model of growth through industrialization, as machines replace workers in a growing number of tasks. This enables the economy to experience long-run growth, as machines become servants of humans, and as their number can grow unboundedly. The mechanism that drives growth is the feedback between industrialization and wages. High wages are incentives to use machines and industrialize, while industrialization raises wages. The model shows that industrialization and growth take off only if the economy is productive enough. It also shows that monopoly power can stifle growth, as it lowers wages. Hence, a one-time increase in productivity, or a reduction of monopoly power can push economies from stagnation to industrialization.

Suggested Citation

  • Zeira, Joseph, 2005. "Machines as Engines of Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 5429, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5429
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joseph Zeira, 1998. "Workers, Machines, and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1091-1117.
    2. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    3. Susanto Basu & David N. Weil, 1998. "Appropriate Technology and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1025-1054.
    4. Charles I. Jones, 1995. "Time Series Tests of Endogenous Growth Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 495-525.
    5. Jones, Charles I & Williams, John C, 2000. "Too Much of a Good Thing? The Economics of Investment in R&D," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 65-85, March.
    6. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2001. "Distribution and Growth in an Economy with Limited Needs," IZA Discussion Papers 273, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
    8. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
    9. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    10. Hernando Zuleta, 2007. "Why labor income shares seem to be constant?," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 551-557.
    11. Paul Beaudry & Fabrice Collard, 2002. "Why has the Employment-Productivity Tradeoff among Industrialized Countries been so strong?," NBER Working Papers 8754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Lant Pritchett, 1997. "Divergence, Big Time," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 3-17, Summer.
    13. Segerstrom, Paul S & Anant, T C A & Dinopoulos, Elias, 1990. "A Schumpeterian Model of the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1077-1091, December.
    14. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth: Theory and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1008-1038, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Boldrin, Michele & Levine, David K., 2008. "Perfectly competitive innovation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 435-453, April.
    2. Andrew T. Young & Hernando Zuleta, 2016. "Golden Rules of Wages," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 253-270, July.
    3. Zuleta, Hernando, 2009. "If factor shares are not constant then we have a measurment problem. can we solve it?," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 005744, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    4. Hernando Zuleta, 2011. "Factor Shares, Income Distribution and Capital Flows," DEGIT Conference Papers c016_003, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    5. Hernando Zuleta, 2008. "Seasons, savings and GDP," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 004592, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    6. Alberto Alesina & Joseph Zeira, 2006. "Technology and Labor Regulations," NBER Working Papers 12581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Zuleta, Hernando, 2012. "Variable factor shares, measurement and growth accounting," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 91-93.
    8. repec:eee:jmacro:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:23-38 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Nakamura, Hideki, 2009. "Micro-foundation for a constant elasticity of substitution production function through mechanization," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 464-472, September.
    10. Hernando Zuleta, 2007. "Biased technological change, human capital and factor shares," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 004380, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    11. Bental, Benjamin & Demougin, Dominique, 2010. "Declining labor shares and bargaining power: An institutional explanation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 443-456, March.
    12. Hernando Zuleta, 2008. "Factor Saving Innovations and Factor Income Shares," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 836-851, October.
    13. Brad Sturgill, 2009. "Cross-country Variation in Factor Shares and its Implications for Development Accounting," Working Papers 09-07, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    14. Zuleta, Hernando & Young, Andrew T., 2013. "Labor shares in a model of induced innovation," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 112-122.
    15. Sturgill, Brad, 2012. "The relationship between factor shares and economic development," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 1044-1062.
    16. Markus Brueckner, 2016. "Rent Extraction by Capitalists," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2016-634, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    17. Yuki, Kazuhiro, 2012. "Mechanization, task assignment, and inequality," MPRA Paper 37754, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Tetsugen Haruyama, 2009. "Competitive Innovation With Codified And Tacit Knowledge," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 56(s1), pages 390-414, September.
    19. Hernando Zuleta & Andrew T. Young, 2007. "Labor's shares - aggregate and industry: accounting for both in a model of unbalanced growth with induced innovation," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 003105, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic growth; industrialization; technology;

    JEL classification:

    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • 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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