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Leadership Cycles

  • Vincenzo Denicolò

    (University of Bologna)

  • Piercarlo Zanchettin

    (University of Leicester)

We study a quality-ladder model of endogenous growth that produces stochastic leadership cycles. Over a cycle, industry leaders can innovate several successive times in the same industry, gradually increasing the magnitude of their technological lead before being replaced by a new entrant. Initially, new leaders are eager to enlarge their lead and do much of the research, but if they innovate repeatedly, their propensity to invest in R&D decreases. Eventually they stop doing research altogether, and as they are overtaken a new cycle starts. The model generates a skewed firm size distribution and a deviation from Gibrat’s law that accord with the empirical evidence. We also consider various policy measures, showing that in some cases policy should favour R&D by incumbents, not outsiders, and that stronger patent protection may reduce innovation and growth.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2010.35.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.35
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  1. Philippe Aghion & Nicholas Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2002. "Competition and Innovation: An Inverted U Relationship," NBER Working Papers 9269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lentz, Rasmus & Mortensen, Dale T., 2005. "An Empirical Model of Growth Through Product Innovation," IZA Discussion Papers 1685, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  12. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 8904, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  13. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1991. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 43-61, January.
  14. Hall, Bronwyn H, 1987. "The Relationship between Firm Size and Firm Growth in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 583-606, June.
  15. Aghion, Philippe, et al, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 467-92, July.
  16. Segerstrom, Paul S & Anant, T C A & Dinopoulos, Elias, 1990. "A Schumpeterian Model of the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1077-91, December.
  17. Lu�s M B Cabral & Jos� Mata, 2003. "On the Evolution of the Firm Size Distribution: Facts and Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1075-1090, September.
  18. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Quality Ladders And Product Cycles," Papers 39-89, Tel Aviv.
  20. Stein, Jeremy C, 1997. "Waves of Creative Destruction: Firm-Specific Learning-by-Doing and the Dynamics of Innovation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 265-88, April.
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  24. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Cozzi, Guido, 2007. "Self-fulfilling prophecies in the quality ladders economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 445-464, September.
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