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Technology diffusion and growth

  • Erzo G.J. Luttmer

Suppose firms are subject to decreasing returns and permanent idiosyncratic productivity shocks. Suppose also firms can only stay in business by continuously paying a fixed cost. New firms can enter. Firms with a history of relatively good productivity shocks tend to survive and others are forced to exit. This paper identifies assumptions about entry that guarantee a stationary firm size distribution and lead to balanced growth. The range of technology diffusion mechanisms that can be considered is greatly expanded relative to previous work. High entry costs slow down the selection process and imply slow aggregate growth. They also push the firm size distribution in the direction of Zipf's law.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Working Papers with number 672.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:672
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  1. Xavier Gabaix, 2008. "Power Laws in Economics and Finance," NBER Working Papers 14299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 2007. "Selection, Growth, and the Size Distribution of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1103-1144, 08.
  3. Samuel S. Kortum, 1997. "Research, Patenting, and Technological Change," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1389-1420, November.
  4. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Burstein, 2007. "Innovation, Firm Dynamics, and International Trade," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001423, David K. Levine.
  5. Erzo G.J. Luttmer, 2007. "On the Mechanics of Firm Growth," Working Papers 2007-4, University of Minnesota, Department of Economics, revised 10 2007.
  6. Armen A. Alchian, 1950. "Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 211.
  7. Chang, Tai Hsieh & Peter, J- Klenow, 2007. "Misallocation and manufacturing TFP in China and India," MPRA Paper 35084, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Jun 2007.
  8. Michele Boldrin & David K. Levine, 2002. "Factor saving innovation," Staff Report 301, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Richard Rogerson & Diego Restuccia, 2004. "Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Heterogeneous Plants," 2004 Meeting Papers 69, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  11. Erzo G.J. Luttmer, 2010. "Models of Growth and Firm Heterogeneity," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 547-576, 09.
  12. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  13. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 1999. "International Technology Diffusion: Theory and Measurement," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 537-70, August.
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