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Technology adoption, social learning, and economic policy

Author

Listed:
  • Paul Heidhues

    (ESMT European School of Management and Technology)

  • Nicolas Melissas

    (CIE – ITAM)

Abstract

We study a two-player dynamic investment model with information externalities and provide necessary and sufficient conditions for a unique switching equilibrium. Within this setup, we ask whether policymakers should interfere when better informed agents make individual investment decisions. We find that when the public information is sufficiently high and a social planer therefore expects an investment boom, investments should be taxed. Conversely, any positive investment tax is suboptimally high if the public information is sufficiently unfavorable. We also show that an investment tax may increase overall investment activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Heidhues & Nicolas Melissas, 2010. "Technology adoption, social learning, and economic policy," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-10-007, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:esm:wpaper:esmt-10-007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chamley, Christophe & Gale, Douglas, 1994. "Information Revelation and Strategic Delay in a Model of Investment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 1065-1085, September.
    2. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2009. "Policy with Dispersed Information," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(1), pages 11-60, March.
    3. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
    4. Chamley, Christophe, 2004. "Delays and equilibria with large and small information in social learning," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 477-501, June.
    5. Avery, Christopher & Zemsky, Peter, 1998. "Multidimensional Uncertainty and Herd Behavior in Financial Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 724-748, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Heidhues, Paul & Melissas, Nicolas, 2012. "Rational exuberance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1220-1240.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    information externality; strategic waiting; delay; information cascade; investment boom; optimal taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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