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The World Distribution of Productivity: Country TFP Choice in a Nelson-Phelps Economy

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  • Erika Färnstrand Damsgaard
  • Per Krusell

Abstract

This paper builds a theory of the distribution of TFP across countries. The theory is based on the hypothesis that TFP improvements in a given country follow a Nelson-Phelps specification: they derive from past investments in the country itself and, through a spillover term, from past investments in other countries. Within a stochastic dynamic general equilibrium model of the world, each country invests in TFP and internalizes the dynamic effects of its investments, while ignoring any effects on others. Small symmetric idiosyncratic shocks can lead to large long-run differences in TFP levels and the world TFP distribution may become twin-peaked.

Suggested Citation

  • Erika Färnstrand Damsgaard & Per Krusell, 2010. "The World Distribution of Productivity: Country TFP Choice in a Nelson-Phelps Economy," NBER Working Papers 16375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16375
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
    3. Paul Beaudry & Fabrice Collard & David Green, 2005. "Demographics and recent productivity performance: insights from cross-country comparisons," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 309-344, May.
    4. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    5. Kremer, Michael & Onatski, Alexei & Stock, James, 2001. "Searching for prosperity," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 275-303, December.
    6. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jess Benhabib & Jesse Perla & Christopher Tonetti, 2014. "Catch-up and fall-back through innovation and imitation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 1-35, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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