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R&D, investment and industry dynamics

  • Saul Lach
  • Rafael Rob

We present a model of industry evolution where the dynamics are driven by a process of endogenous innovations, followed by subsequent embodiments in physical capital. Traditionally, the only distinction between R&D and physical investment was one of labeling: the first process accumulates an intangible stock (knowledge) while the second accumulates physical capital; both stocks affect output in a symmetric fashion. We argue that the story is not that simple, and there is more to it than differences in the object of accumulation. Our model stresses the causal relationship between past R&D expenditures and current investments in machinery and equipment. This causality pattern, which is supported by the data, also explains the observed higher volatility of physical investment (relative to R&D expenditures).

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 95-47.

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Date of creation: 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:95-47
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  1. Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1984. "Practical Implications of Game Theoretic Models of R&D," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 61-66, May.
  2. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521306935 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-51, March.
  4. Ernst R. Berndt & Zvi Griliches, 1990. "Price Indexes for Microcomputers: An Exploratory Study," NBER Working Papers 3378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Glenn C. Loury, 1976. "Market Structure and Innovation," Discussion Papers 256, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Hayashi, Fumio, 1989. "Research and Development as an Investment," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8br8d266, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Richard Ericson & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "An Alternative Theory of Firm and Industry Dynamics," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1041, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Gort, Michael & Klepper, Steven, 1982. "Time Paths in the Diffusion of Product Innovations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 630-53, September.
  10. Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1983. "Uncertain Innovation and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 741-48, September.
  11. Harris, Christopher & Vickers, John, 1985. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Model of a Race," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 193-209, April.
  12. Dixit, Avinash, 1980. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(357), pages 95-106, March.
  13. Gilbert, Richard J & Newbery, David M G, 1982. "Preemptive Patenting and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 514-26, June.
  14. Roger H. Gordon & Mark Schankerman & Richard H. Spady, 1985. "Estimating the Effects of R&D on Bell System Productivity: A Model of Embodied Technical Change," NBER Working Papers 1607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521101592 is not listed on IDEAS
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