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Special Interests and Technological Change

  • Giorgio Bellettini

    (University of Bologna)

  • Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano

    (University of Bologna and CEPR)

We study an OLG economy where productivity growth comes from two alternative sources: process innovation and learning-by-doing. There is a trade-off between the two in so far as frequent technological updates reduce the scope for learning on existing technologies. A conflict is shown to arise between the young and the old, because the former favor innovation while the latter prefer learning. We model the interaction between overlapping generations and policy makers as a dynamic common agency problem, where competing generations invest a certain amount of resources to lobby either for the maintenance of the current technology or the adoption of a new one. By focusing on truthful Markov perfect equilibria, we characterize the political equilibrium and show its dependence on the underlying demographic, technological and preference parameters.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2003.59.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2003.59
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  1. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Intergenerational Redistribution with Short-Lived Governments," NBER Working Papers 5447, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lohmann, Susanne, 1995. "Information, Access, and Contributions: A Signaling Model of Lobbying," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(3-4), pages 267-84, December.
  4. Riley, John G & Samuelson, William F, 1981. "Optimal Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 381-92, June.
  5. Edward C. Prescott, 1997. "Needed: a theory of total factor productivity," Staff Report 242, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 2001. "Markov Perfect Equilibrium: I. Observable Actions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 191-219, October.
  7. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 1998. "Dynamic Common Agency," Discussion Papers 1259, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Elmar WOLFSTETTER, 1994. "Auctions: An Introduction," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1994,13, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  9. James M. Snyder, 1991. "On Buying Legislatures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 93-109, 07.
  10. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-63, September.
  11. Dixit, Avinash & Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1997. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Government Policy Making," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 752-69, August.
  12. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1997. "Politico-economic equilibrium and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 243-272, January.
  13. Krusell, P. & Rios-Rull, J.V., 1993. "Vested Interests in a Positive Theory of Stagnation and Growth," Papers 547, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  14. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
  15. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31.
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