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Catching Up and Falling Behind

  • Nancy L. Stokey
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    This paper studies the interaction between technology, a publicly available input that flows in from abroad, and human capital, a private input that is accumulated domestically, as the twin engines of growth in a developing economy. The model displays two types of long run behavior, depending on policies and initial conditions. One is sustained growth, where the economy keeps pace with the technology frontier. The other is stagnation, where the economy converges to a minimal technology level that is independent of the world frontier. In a calibrated version of the model, transition paths after a policy change can display rapid growth, as in modern growth 'miracles.' In these economies policies that promote technology inflows are much more effective than subsidies to human capital accumulation in accelerating growth. A policy reversal produces a 'lost decade,' a period of slow growth that permanently reduces the level of income and consumption.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18654.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18654.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18654
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    1. Baumol, William J, 1986. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: What the Long-run Data Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1072-85, December.
    2. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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    4. Hendricks, Lutz A., 2002. "How Important is Human Capital for Development? Evidence from Immigrant Earnings," Staff General Research Papers 11409, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    5. Baumol, William J & Wolff, Edward N, 1988. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1155-59, December.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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.
    8. Heckman, James J, 1976. "A Life-Cycle Model of Earnings, Learning, and Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S11-44, August.
    9. Audra J. Bowlus & Chris Robinson, 2010. "Human Capital Prices, Productivity and Growth," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20104, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
    10. Prescott, Edward C, 1998. "Needed: A Theory of Total Factor Productivity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 525-51, August.
    11. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
    12. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
    13. Natalia Ramondo, 2009. "Foreign Plants and Industry Productivity: Evidence from Chile," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(4), pages 789-809, December.
    14. J. Bradford De Long, . "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Comment," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _129, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
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