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Factor saving innovation

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  • Michele Boldrin
  • David K. Levine

Abstract

We study a simple model of factor saving technological innovation in a concave framework. Capital can be used either to reproduce itself or, at additional cost, to produce a higher quality of capital that requires less labor input. If higher quality capital can be produced quickly, we get a model of exogenous balanced growth as a special case. If, however, higher quality capital can be produced slowly, we get a model of endogenous growth in which the growth rate of the economy and the rate of adoption of new technologies are determined by preferences, technology, and initial conditions. Moreover, in the latter case, the process of growth is necessarily uneven, exhibiting a natural cycle with alternating periods of high and low growth. Growth paths and technological innovations also exhibit dependence upon initial conditions. The model provides a step toward a theory of endogenous innovation under conditions of perfect competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Michele Boldrin & David K. Levine, 2002. "Factor saving innovation," Staff Report 301, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:301
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Boldrin, Michele & Levine, David K., 2008. "Perfectly competitive innovation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 435-453, April.
    2. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
    3. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
    4. 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 525-551, August.
    5. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo Manuelli, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth," NBER Working Papers 3241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth: Theory and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1008-1038, October.
    7. Paul M. Romer, 1994. "The Origins of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 3-22, Winter.
    8. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Technological innovations;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • D51 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Exchange and Production Economies
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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