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Embodied Technological Change, Learning-by-Doing and the Productivity Slowdown

  • Raouf BOUCEKKINE
  • Fernando DEL RIO
  • Omar LICANDRO

The productivity slowdown in the US economy since the first oil shock has recently been associated with a larger decline rate of the relative price of equipment investment and a smaller rate of disembodied technical change. We set up a growth model in which learning-by-doing is the engine of both embodied and disembodied technological progress. A shift in the relative efficiency of learning-by-doing from the consumption to the investment sector is shown to imply a technological reassignment consistent with the above-mentioned evidence. This result derives from the interaction between the obsolescence costs inherent in embodiment and the learning-by-doing engine. Copyright The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics", 2002 .

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Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2002/12.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2002/12
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  1. Boucekkine, Raouf & Del Rio, Fernando & Licandro, Omar, 2000. "The importance of the embodied question revisited," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 0001, CEPREMAP.
  2. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell, 1996. "Can Technology Improvements Cause Productivity Slowdowns?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 209-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1995. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9510, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  4. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  5. David, Paul A, 1990. "The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 355-61, May.
  6. Hsieh, Chang-Tai, 2001. "Endogenous growth and obsolescence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 153-171, October.
  7. Krusell, Per, 1998. " Investment-Specific R&D and the Decline in the Relative Price of Capital," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 131-41, June.
  8. Hercowitz, Zvi, 1998. "The 'embodiment' controversy: A review essay," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 217-224, February.
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