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Appropriate Growth Policy: A Unifying Framework

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  • Howitt, Peter
  • Aghion, Philippe

Abstract

In this lecture, we use Schumpeterian growth theory, where growth comes from quality-improving innovations, to elaborate a theory of growth policy and to explain the growth gap between Europe and the US. Our theoretical apparatus systematizes the case-by-case approach to growth policy design. The emphasis is on three policy areas that are potentially relevant for growth in Europe, namely: competition and entry, education, and macropolicy. We argue that higher entry and exit (higher firm turnover) and increased emphasis on higher education are more growth-enhancing in countries that are closer to the technological frontier. We also argue that countercyclical budgetary policies are more growth-enhancing in countries with lower financial development. The analysis thus points to important interaction effects between policies and state variables, such as distance to frontier or financial development, in growth regressions. Finally, we argue that the other endogenous growth models, namely the AK and product variety models, fail to account for the evidence on the relationship between competition, education, volatility, and growth, and consequently cannot deliver relevant policy prescriptions in the three areas we consider.

Suggested Citation

  • Howitt, Peter & Aghion, Philippe, 2006. "Appropriate Growth Policy: A Unifying Framework," Scholarly Articles 4554121, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:4554121
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Philippe Aghion & Nick Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: an Inverted-U Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 701-728.
    2. Howitt, Peter & Mayer-Foulkes, David, 2005. "R&D, Implementation, and Stagnation: A Schumpeterian Theory of Convergence Clubs," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(1), pages 147-177, February.
    3. Philippe Aghion & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt & Susanne Prantl, 2009. "The Effects of Entry on Incumbent Innovation and Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 20-32, February.
    4. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2006. "Distance to Frontier, Selection, and Economic Growth," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 37-74, March.
    5. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-563, July.
    6. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt & David Mayer-Foulkes, 2005. "The Effect of Financial Development on Convergence: Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 173-222.
    7. Daron Acemoglu & Jaume Ventura, 2002. "The World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 659-694.
    8. Philippe Aghion & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt & Susanne Prantl, 2004. "Entry and Productivity Growth: Evidence from Microlevel Panel Data," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 265-276, 04/05.
    9. Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & Van Reenen, John, 1995. "Dynamic Count Data Models of Technological Innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 333-344, March.
    10. Tom Krebs, 2003. "Human Capital Risk and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 709-744.
    11. Joonkyung Ha & Peter Howitt, 2007. "Accounting for Trends in Productivity and R&D: A Schumpeterian Critique of Semi-Endogenous Growth Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(4), pages 733-774, June.
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