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Quality Improvements in Models of Growth

  • Sala-i-Martin, X.
  • Barro, R.J.

Technological progress takes the form of improvements in the quality of an array of intermediate inputs to production. In an equilibrium that is standard in the literature, all research is carried out by outsiders, and success means that the outsider replaces the incumbent as the industry leader. The equilibrium research intensity involves three considerations: leading-edge goods are priced above the competitive level, innovators value the extraction of monopoly rents from predecessors, and innovators regard their successes as temporary. We show that if industry leaders have lower research costs, leaders will carry out all the research in equilibrium. If the cost advantage is not too large, however, the equilibrium research intensity and growth rate depend on the existence of the competitive fringe and take on the same values as in the standard solution. We discuss the departures from Pareto optimality and analyse the determination of the economy's rate of return and growth rate.

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Paper provided by Yale - Economic Growth Center in its series Papers with number 715.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 1994
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:yalegr:715
Contact details of provider: Postal: U.S.A.; YALE UNIVERSITY, ECONOMIC GROWTH CENTER, YALE STATION NEW-HAVEN CONNECTICUT 06520 U.S.A
Phone: (203) 432-3610
Fax: (203) 432-3898
Web page: http://www.econ.yale.edu/~egcenter/

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  1. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1990. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," DELTA Working Papers 90-12, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  2. Sergio Rebelo, 1999. "Long Run Policy Analysis and Long Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2114, David K. Levine.
  3. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 217-35, June.
  4. Elise Brezis & Paul Krugman & Daniel Tsiddon, 1991. "Leapfrogging: A Theory of Cycles in National Technological Leadership," NBER Working Papers 3886, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  6. Alwyn Young, 1993. "Substitution and Complementarity in Endogenous Innovation," NBER Working Papers 4256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  8. Young, Alwyn, 1993. "Substitution and Complementarity in Endogenous Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 775-807, August.
  9. 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.
  10. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Reinganum, Jennifer F., 1989. "The timing of innovation: Research, development, and diffusion," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 849-908 Elsevier.
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