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Research Cycles

  • Bramoullé, Yann
  • Saint-Paul, Gilles

This paper studies the dynamics of fundamental research. We develop a simple model where researchers allocate their effort between improving existing fields and inventing new ones. A key assumption is that scientists derive utility from recognition from other scientists. We show that the economy can be either in a regime where new fields are constantly invented, and then converges to a steady state, or in a cyclical regime where periods of innovation alternate with periods of exploitation. We characterize the cyclical dynamics of the economy, show that indeterminacy may appear, and establish some comparative statics and welfare implications.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 422.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Economic Theory, vol.�145, n°5, septembre 2010, p.�1890-1920.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:5500
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  1. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1996. "Growing Through Cycles," Economics Series 40, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  2. Jovanovic, B. & Nyarko, Y., 1996. "Learning by Doing and the Choice of Technology," Working Papers 96-25, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. Sanjeev Goyal & Marco van der Leij & Jose Luis Moraga, 2004. "Economics: An Emerging Small World?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-001/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  4. Shleifer, Andrei, 1986. "Implementation Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(6), pages 1163-90, December.
  5. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 1997. "A Formal Model of Theory Choice in Science," Research in Economics 97-04-031e, Santa Fe Institute.
  6. Daron Acemoglu, 1998. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change And Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1055-1089, November.
  7. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1996. " Research and Development in the Growth Process," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 49-73, March.
  8. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1972. "The Valuation of Option Contracts and a Test of Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 27(2), pages 399-417, May.
  9. Levin, Sharon G & Stephan, Paula E, 1991. "Research Productivity over the Life Cycle: Evidence for Academic Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 114-32, March.
  10. Paula E. Stephan, 1996. "The Economics of Science," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1199-1235, September.
  11. Jovanovic, Boyan & Rob, Rafael, 1990. "Long Waves and Short Waves: Growth through Intensive and Extensive Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1391-1409, November.
  12. Arthur M. Diamond Jr., 1986. "What is a Citation Worth?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(2), pages 200-215.
  13. Carmichael, H Lorne, 1988. "Incentives in Academics: Why Is There Tenure?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 453-72, June.
  14. Partha, Dasgupta & David, Paul A., 1994. "Toward a new economics of science," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 487-521, September.
  15. Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2004. "The Economics of Ideas and Intellectual Property," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000631, David K. Levine.
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