IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Models of Technical Progress and the Golden Rule of Research


  • Edmond S. Phelps


The primary purpose of this paper is to present a model of technical progress and economic growth from which one can derive a Golden Rule of Research quite analogous to the Golden Rule of Accumulation. The secondary purpose is to discuss various models of technical progress. That there might exist a Golden Rule for research is not surprising since research is a kind of investment -ñ investment in technology -- just as "accumulation" denotes investment in tangible capital. Nevertheless "capital" and "technology" differ in important aspects. If, given the technology, the production of commodities is homogeneous of degree one in labor and capital goods, as is frequently postulated, then production cannot be homogeneous of degree one in labor, capital and "technology" (or the appropriate index of past research effort). Further, the production of technical progress, unlike the production of investment goods, seems unlikely to exhibit constant returns to scale in capital and labor, given the technology. Hence technology cannot be treated as an ordinary capital good. Because of this novelty that our subject presents, this paper must be highly tentative and conjectural.

Suggested Citation

  • Edmond S. Phelps, 1964. "Models of Technical Progress and the Golden Rule of Research," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 176, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:176

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:176. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Matthew Regan). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.