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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. Dirk & Juuso Valimaki, 1998. "Dynamic Common Agency," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1206, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 21-92, Tel Aviv.
  3. Wolfstetter, Elmar, 1996. " Auctions: An Introduction," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 367-420, December.
  4. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
  5. Dixit, Avinash & Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1997. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Government Policy Making," Scholarly Articles 3450061, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. Riley, John G & Samuelson, William F, 1981. "Optimal Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 381-92, June.
  8. Krusell, P. & Rios-Rull, J.V., 1993. "Vested Interests in a Positive Theory of Stagnation and Growth," Papers 547, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  9. Lohmann, Susanne, 1995. " Information, Access, and Contributions: A Signaling Model of Lobbying," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(3-4), pages 267-84, December.
  10. Prescott, Edward C, 1998. "Needed: A Theory of Total Factor Productivity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 525-51, August.
  11. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 2001. "Markov Perfect Equilibrium: I. Observable Actions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 191-219, October.
  12. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991. "A sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 609, The World Bank.
  13. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Intergenerational Redistribution with Short-Lived Governments," NBER Working Papers 5447, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. James M. Snyder, 1991. "On Buying Legislatures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 93-109, 07.
  15. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
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