Factor-Eliminating Technical Change
Endogenous growth requires that non-reproducible factors of production be either augmented or eliminated. Attention heretofore has focused almost exclusively on augmentation. In contrast, we study factor elimination. Maximizing agents decide when to reduce the importance of non-reproducible factors. We use a Cobb-Douglas production function with two factors of production, one reproducible ("capital") and one not ("labor"). There is no augmenting progress of any kind, thus excluding the standard engine of growth. What is new is the possibility of changing factor intensities endogenously by spending resources on R&D. The economy starts with no capital and no knowledge of how to use it. By conducting R&D, the economy learns new technologies that use capital, which then is built. There are two possible ultimate outcomes: the economy may achieve perpetual growth, or it may stagnate with no growth. The first outcome is an asymptotic version of the AK model of endogenous growth, and the second outcome is the standard Solow model in the absence of any exogenous sources of growth. Which outcome is achieved depends on parameter values of saving and production, and there always is a feasible saving rate that will give the perpetual growth outcome. The model thus provides a theory of the endogenous emergence of a production technology with constant returns to the reproducible factors, that is, one that is capable of supporting perpetual economic growth. The model also allows derivation of the full transition dynamics, which have interesting properties. One especially notable feature is that the origin is not a steady state. An economy that starts with pure labor production becomes industrialized through its own efforts. The theory thus offers a purely endogenous explanation for the transition from a primitive to a developed economy, in contrast to several well-known theories. Several aspects of the transition paths accord with the evidence, suggesting that the theory is reasonable. In contrast to almost all the existing endogenous growth literature, neither monopoly power nor an externality is a necessary condition for endogenous growth. It is sufficient that firms be able to appropriate the results of their research and development efforts.
|Date of creation:||2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (919) 660-1800
Fax: (919) 684-8974
Web page: http://econ.duke.edu/
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sergio Rebelo, 1999.
"Long Run Policy Analysis and Long Run Growth,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
2114, David K. Levine.
- Douglas Gollin, 2001.
"Getting Income Shares Right,"
Department of Economics Working Papers
2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
- Hernando Zuleta, 2006.
"Factor saving innovations and factor income shares,"
DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO
002706, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
- 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.
- John Bound & George Johnson, 1995. "What are the causes of rising wage inequality in the United States?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jan, pages 9-17.
- David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
- Alan Krueger, 1999.
"Measuring Labor's Share,"
NBER Working Papers
7006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Sturgill, Brad, 2012. "The relationship between factor shares and economic development," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 1044-1062.
- Joseph Zeira, 2006.
"Machines as Engines of Growth,"
DEGIT Conference Papers
c011_059, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
- Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 1998.
"Malthus to Solow,"
NBER Working Papers
6858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Oliver J. Blanchard, 1997. "The Medium Run," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 89-158.
- Olivier Blanchard, 1998.
"Revisiting European Unemployment: Unemployment, Capital Accumulation, and Factor Prices,"
NBER Working Papers
6566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Blanchard, Olivier, 1998. "Revisiting European Unemployment : Unemployment, Capital Accumulation and Factor Prices," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number GL28.
- Caselli, Francesco & Feyrer, James, 2005.
"The Marginal Product of Capital,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
5203, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Robert M. Solow, 1994. "Perspectives on Growth Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 45-54, Winter.
- Peretto, Pietro F., 1996.
"Technological Change and Population Growth,"
96-28, Duke University, Department of Economics.
- Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999.
"Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?,"
NBER Working Papers
6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
- Peretto, Pietro F., 1999. "Cost reduction, entry, and the interdependence of market structure and economic growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 173-195, February.
- Michael Bar & Oksana Leukhina, 2009.
"Supplemental Notes to "Demographic transition and industrial revolution: A macroeconomic investigation","
08-85, Review of Economic Dynamics.
- Michael Bar & Oksana Leukhina, 2010. "Demographic Transition and Industrial Revolution: A Macroeconomic Investigation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(2), pages 424-451, April.
- Joseph Zeira, 1998.
"Workers, Machines, And Economic Growth,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1091-1117, November.
- Hernando Zuleta, 2008.
"An empirical note on factor shares,"
The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development,
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 379-390.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:10-21. 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: (Department of Economics Webmaster)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.