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When Economic Growth is Less than Exponential

  • Christian Groth

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Karl-Josef Koch

    (University of Siegen)

  • Thomas M. Steger

    (University of Leipzig and CESifo Munich)

This paper argues that growth theory needs a more general notion of “regularity” than that of exponential growth. We suggest that paths along which the rate of decline of the growth rate is proportional to the growth rate itself deserve attention. This opens up for considering a richer set of parameter combinations than in standard growth models. And it avoids the usual oversimplistic dichotomy of either exponential growth or stagnation. Allowing zero population growth in three different growth models (the Jones R&D-based model, a learning-by-doing model, and an embodied technical change model) serve as illustrations that a continuum of “regular” growth processes fill the whole range between exponential growth and complete stagnation.

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Paper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 2009-03.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation:
Date of revision: May 2009
Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:09-03
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  1. Raouf Boucekkine & Fernando del Río & Omar Licandro, 2003. "Embodied Technological Change, Learning-by-doing and the Productivity Slowdown," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(1), pages 87-98, 03.
  2. Asheim, Geir B. & Buchholz, Wolfgang & Hartwick, John M. & Mitra, Tapan & Withagen, Cees, 2005. "Constant savings rates and quasi-arithmetic population growth under exhaustible resource constraints," Memorandum 23/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  3. Alvarez-Pelaez, Maria J. & Groth, Christian, 2005. "Too little or too much R&D?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 437-456, February.
  4. Jakub Growiec, 2007. "Beyond the Linearity Critique: The Knife-edge Assumption of Steady-state Growth," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 489-499, June.
  5. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  6. John C. V. Pezzey, 2002. "Exact Measures of Income in a Hyperbolic Economy," Economics and Environment Network Working Papers 0203, Australian National University, Economics and Environment Network.
  7. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
  8. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1996. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," RCER Working Papers 420, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  9. Lutz G. Arnold, 2006. "The Dynamics of the Jones R&D Growth Model," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(1), pages 143-152, January.
  10. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 8904, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  11. Jakub Growiec, 2009. "Knife-Edge Conditions in the Modeling of Long-Run Growth Regularities," National Bank of Poland Working Papers 68, National Bank of Poland, Economic Institute.
  12. Robert M. Solow, 1994. "Perspectives on Growth Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 45-54, Winter.
  13. Hendrik Hakenes & Andreas Irmen, 2005. "On the Long-Run Evolution of Technological Knowledge," CESifo Working Paper Series 1483, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Jones, Charles I., 2005. "Growth and Ideas," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 1063-1111 Elsevier.
  15. Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1995. "Is Consumption Growth Consistent with Intertemporal Optimization? Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1121-57, December.
  16. Mitra, Tapan, 1983. "Limits on Population Growth under Exhaustible Resource Constraints," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(1), pages 155-68, February.
  17. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, June.
  18. John Hartwick, 1976. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," Working Papers 220, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  19. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 681-716, August.
  20. Alwyn Young, 1998. "Growth without Scale Effects," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 41-63, February.
  21. Solow, Robert M., 2000. "Growth Theory: An Exposition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780195109030, March.
  22. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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