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Obsolescence Vs modernization in a Schumpeterian vintage capital model

  • Raouf Boucekkine
  • Fernando del Río
  • Omar Licandro

In this paper, we build up a general equilibrium model explicitly incorporating Schumpeterian growth à la Aghion and Howitt (1992) and a vintage capital structure in line with Solow (1960). Technological progress is embodied. We show that the investment rate is a fundamental determinant of the profitability of R&D in contrast to the R&D based growth models with disembodied technical progress. We characterize the balanced growth paths and point at the possible existence of multiple equilibria due to the strategic complementarity between investment and R&D activities. More importantly, the embodiment hypothesis is shown to give rise to a precise modernization mechanism through investment and the average age of capital. The modernization effects of investment may well balance the typical obsolescence cost inherent to embodiment, a result that should be of interest in the current debate on the viability of the current information technology boom as a long run growth regime.

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Paper provided by FEDEA in its series Working Papers with number 2000-27.

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Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaddt:2000-27
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  1. Thomas F. Cooley & Jeremy Greenwood & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 1994. "The Replacement Problem," Working Papers 9408, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  2. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  3. Boucekkine, Raouf & del Rio, Fernando & Licandro, Omar, 1999. "The Importance of the Embodied Question Revisited," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1999026, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  4. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson L., 1988. "Plant Turnover And Gross Employment Flows In The U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Papers 9-87-7, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  5. Howitt, Peter & Aghion, Philippe, 1998. " Capital Accumulation and Innovation as Complementary Factors in Long-Run Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 111-30, June.
  6. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Plant-Level Adjustment and Aggregate Investment Dynamics," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 1-54.
  7. Hercowitz, Zvi, 1998. "The 'embodiment' controversy: A review essay," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 217-224, February.
  8. Ricardo J. Caballero & Adam B. Jaffe, 1993. "How High are the Giants' Shoulders: An Empirical Assessment of Knowledge Spillovers and Creative Destruction in a Model of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rivera-Batiz, Luis A & Romer, Paul M, 1991. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 531-55, May.
  10. Cooper, Russell & John, Andrew, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-63, August.
  11. 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.
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