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The Calm Before the Storm? - Anticipating the Arrival of General Purpose Technologies



This paper presents a Schumpeterian quality-ladder model incorporating the impact of new General Purpose Technologies (GPTs). GPTs are breakthrough technologies with a wide range of applications, opening up new innovational complementarities. In contrast to most existing models which focus on the events after the arrival of a new GPT, the model developed in this paper focuses on the events before the arrival if R&D firms know the point of time and the technological impact of this drastic innovation. In this framework we can show, that the economy goes through three main phases: First, the economy is in its old steady state. Second, there are transitional dynamics and finally, the economy is in a new steady state with higher growth rates. The transitional dynamics are characterized by oscillating cycles. Shortly before the arrival of a new GPT, there is an increase in R&D activities and growth going even beyond the old steady state levels and immediately before the arrival of the new GPT, there is a large slump in R&D activities using the old GPT.

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  • Daniel Schiess & Roger Wehrli, 2008. "The Calm Before the Storm? - Anticipating the Arrival of General Purpose Technologies," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 08/81, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:08-81

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Schiess & Roger Wehrli, 2011. "Long-Term Growth Driven by a Sequence of General Purpose Technologies," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 11/148, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    2. Schaefer, Andreas & Schiess, Daniel & Wehrli, Roger, 2014. "Long-term growth driven by a sequence of general purpose technologies," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 23-31.

    More about this item


    Schumpeterian growth; research and development; general purpose technologies;

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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