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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:672
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  1. 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.
  2. Ariel Burstein & Andrew Atkeson, 2009. "Innovation, Firm Dynamics, and International Trade," 2009 Meeting Papers 186, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  4. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J Klenow, 2008. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," 2008 Meeting Papers 121, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 2011. "On the Mechanics of Firm Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(3), pages 1042-1068.
  6. Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2001. "Factor Saving Innovation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000088, David K. Levine.
  7. Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 2010. "Models of Growth and Firm Heterogeneity," Working Papers 2010-1, University of Minnesota, Department of Economics.
  8. Armen A. Alchian, 1950. "Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 211.
  9. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2008. "Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Heterogeneous Plants," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 707-720, October.
  10. Xavier Gabaix, 2009. "Power Laws in Economics and Finance," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 255-294, 05.
  11. 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.
  12. Samuel S. Kortum, 1997. "Research, Patenting, and Technological Change," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1389-1420, November.
  13. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
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