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Quality Ledders In The Theory Of Growth

  • GROSSMAN, G.M.
  • HELPMAN, E.

We develop a model of repeated product improvements in a continuum of sectors. Each product follows a stochastic progression up a quality ladder. Progress is not uniform across sectors, so an equilibrium distribution of qualities evolves over time. But the rate of aggregate growth is constant. The growth rate responds to profit incentives in the R&D sector. We explore the welfare properties of our model. Then we relate our approach to an alternative one that views product innovation as a process of generating an ever expanding range of horizontally differentiated products. Finally, we apply the model to issues of resource accumulation and international trade.

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Paper provided by Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs in its series Papers with number 148.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 1989
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:priwpu:148
Contact details of provider: Postal: PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, WOODROW WILSON SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, PRINCETON NEW- JERSEY 08542 U.S.A.
Phone: (609) 258-4800
Web page: http://www.wws.princeton.edu/

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  1. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  2. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1990. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," NBER Working Papers 3223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
  4. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  5. Glenn C. Loury, 1976. "Market Structure and Innovation," Discussion Papers 256, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Partha Dasgupta & Joseph Stiglitz, 1980. "Uncertainty, Industrial Structure, and the Speed of R&D," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(1), pages 1-28, Spring.
  7. Judd, Kenneth L, 1985. "On the Performance of Patents," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 567-85, May.
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