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Internal Increasing Returns to Scale and Economic Growth

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  • John A. List
  • Haiwen Zhou

Abstract

This study develops a model of endogenous growth based on increasing returns due to firms' technology choices. Particular attention is paid to the implications of these choices, combined with the substitution of capital for labor, on economic growth in a general equilibrium model in which the R&D sector produces machines to be used for the sector producing final goods. We show that incorporating oligopolistic competition in the sector producing finals goods into a general equilibrium model with endogenous technology choice is tractable, and we explore the equilibrium path analytically. The model illustrates a novel manner in which sustained per capita growth of consumption can be achieved?through continuous adoption of new technologies featuring the substitution between capital and labor. Further insights of the model are that during the growth process, the size of firms producing final goods increases over time, the real interest rate is constant, and the real wage rate increases over time.

Suggested Citation

  • John A. List & Haiwen Zhou, 2007. "Internal Increasing Returns to Scale and Economic Growth," NBER Technical Working Papers 0336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberte:0336
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
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    3. Greenwood, Jeremy & Seshadri, Ananth, 2005. "Technological Progress and Economic Transformation," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 19, pages 1225-1273 Elsevier.
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    5. Jones, Charles I., 1994. "Economic growth and the relative price of capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 359-382, December.
    6. Alwyn Young, 1995. "The Tyranny of Numbers: Confronting the Statistical Realities of the East Asian Growth Experience," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 641-680.
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    8. King, Robert G & Rebelo, Sergio T, 1993. "Transitional Dynamics and Economic Growth in the Neoclassical Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 908-931, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tewodros g. Gebreselasie, 2008. "Sectoral Elasticity Of Substitution And Returns To Scale In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(s2), pages 110-125, August.
    2. Daniel Cardona & Fernando Sanchez Losada, 2007. "Cost-Based Models of Economic Growth," Working Papers in Economics 179, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    3. Haiwen Zhou, 2009. "Population Growth And Industrialization," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(2), pages 249-265, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E10 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - General
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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