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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
    Note: EFG
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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Audra J. Bowlus & Chris Robinson, 2012. "Human Capital Prices, Productivity, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3483-3515, December.
    5. 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.
    6. Psacharopoulos, George, 1993. "Returns to investment in education : a global update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1067, The World Bank.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Edward C. Prescott, 1997. "Needed: a theory of total factor productivity," Staff Report 242, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    10. Natalia Ramondo, 2009. "Foreign Plants and Industry Productivity: Evidence from Chile," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(4), pages 789-809, December.
    11. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. 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.
    13. 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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