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Machines as Engines of Growth

  • Joseph Zeira

This paper builds a model of growth through industrialization, where 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 grows unboundedly. The mechanism that drives growth is feedback between industrialization and wages. High wages provide incentives to use machines, 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.

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File URL: http://degit.sam.sdu.dk/papers/degit_11/C011_059.pdf
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Paper provided by DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade in its series DEGIT Conference Papers with number c011_059.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c011_059
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  1. 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.
  2. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Susanto Basu & David N. Weil, 1996. "Appropriate Technology and Growth," NBER Working Papers 5865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "Time Series Tests of Endogenous Growth Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 495-525, May.
  5. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1990. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," DELTA Working Papers 90-12, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  6. Jones, C-I & Williams, J-C, 1996. "Too Much of a Good Thing? The Economics of Investment in R&D," Papers 538, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  7. Zeira, Joseph, 1995. "Workers, Machines and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Gilles Saint-Paul, 2001. "Distribution and Growth in an Economy with Limited Needs," CESifo Working Paper Series 423, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. 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 1077-91, December.
  10. 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.
  11. Lant Pritchett, 1997. "Divergence, Big Time," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 3-17, Summer.
  12. 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 1008-38, October.
  13. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  14. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
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