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Has Creative Destruction Become More Destructive?

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  • John Komlos

Abstract

Schumpeter's concept of creative destruction as the engine of capitalist development is well-known. However, that the destructive part of creative destruction is a social cost and therefore biases our estimate of the impact of the innovation on NNP and on welfare is hardly acknowledged, with the exception of Witt (1996). Admittedly, during the First and Second Industrial Revolutions the magnitude of the destructive component of innovation was probably small compared to the net value added to employment, NNP or to welfare. However, we conjecture that recently the new technologies are often creating products which are close substitutes for the ones they replace whose value depreciates substantially in the process of destruction. Consequently, the contribution of recent innovations to NNP is likely biased upward. This note calls for a research agenda to estimate innovations into their creative and destructive components in order to provide improved estimates of their contribution to NNP, welfare, and employment.

Suggested Citation

  • John Komlos, 2014. "Has Creative Destruction Become More Destructive?," NBER Working Papers 20379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20379
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    Cited by:

    1. Naudé, Wim, 2019. "The Race against the Robots and the Fallacy of the Giant Cheesecake: Immediate and Imagined Impacts of Artificial Intelligence," IZA Discussion Papers 12218, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Moreira, Paulo Pires, 2017. "Why do Portuguese Railways Languish? An Application of Internalisation of Transport Related Externalities," MPRA Paper 79058, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. repec:eee:jebusi:v:100:y:2018:i:c:p:7-25 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Sequeira, Tiago Neves & Gil, Pedro Mazeda & Afonso, Oscar, 2018. "Endogenous growth and entropy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 100-120.
    5. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:1:p:308-325 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jacques LE CACHEUX, 2017. "Croissance potentielle : la politique économique au royaume des aveugles ?," Working Papers 2016-2017_11, CATT - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, revised Jun 2017.
    7. Daniel Andrei & Bruce I. Carlin, 2017. "Asset Pricing in the Quest for the New El Dorado," NBER Working Papers 23455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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