Are Ideas Getting Harder to Find?
In many growth models, economic growth arises from people creating ideas, and the long-run growth rate is the product of two terms: the effective number of researchers and their research productivity. We present a wide range of evidence from various industries, products, and firms showing that research effort is rising substantially while research productivity is declining sharply. A good example is Moore's Law. The number of researchers required today to achieve the famous doubling every two years of the density of computer chips is more than 18 times larger than the number required in the early 1970s. Across a broad range of case studies at various levels of (dis)aggregation, we find that ideas — and in particular the exponential growth they imply — are getting harder and harder to find. Exponential growth results from the large increases in research effort that offset its declining productivity.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2017|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robert J. Gordon, 2016. "The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10544, June.
- Ufuk Akcigit & Murat Alp Celik & Jeremy Greenwood, 2016.
"Buy, Keep, or Sell: Economic Growth and the Market for Ideas,"
Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 943-984, 05.
- Ufuk Akcigit & Murat Alp Celik & Jeremy Greenwood, 2013. "Buy, Keep or Sell: Economic Growth and the Market for Ideas," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 21, Economie d'Avant Garde.
- Ufuk Akcigit & Murat Alp Celik & Jeremy Greenwood, 2015. "Buy, Keep or Sell: Economic Growth and the Market for Ideas," RCER Working Papers 593, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Ufuk Akcigit & Murat Alp Celik & Jeremy Greenwood, 2013. "Buy, Keep or Sell: Economic Growth and the Market for Ideas," NBER Working Papers 19763, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ufuk Akcigit & Murat Alp Celik & Jeremy Greenwood, 2013. "Buy, Keep or Sell: Economic Growth and the Market for Ideas," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-069, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
- Benjamin F. Jones, 2009. "The Burden of Knowledge and the "Death of the Renaissance Man": Is Innovation Getting Harder?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 283-317.
- Benjamin F. Jones, 2005. "The burden of knowledge and the ‘death of the Renaissance man’: Is innovation getting harder?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Benjamin F. Jones, 2005. "The Burden of Knowledge and the 'Death of the Renaissance Man': Is Innovation Getting Harder?," NBER Working Papers 11360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Huffman, Wallace E. & Evenson, Robert E., 1993. "Science for Agriculture: A Long Term Perspective," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10997, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Huffman, Wallace E. & Evenson, Robert E., 2006. "Science for Agriculture: A Long Term Perspective," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12362, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Christopher Laincz & Pietro Peretto, 2006. "Scale effects in endogenous growth theory: an error of aggregation not specification," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 263-288, September.
- Michael Kremer, 1993. "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 681-716.
- Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & John van Reenen, 1999. "Market Share, Market Value and Innovation in a Panel of British Manufacturing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 529-554.
- Joonkyung Ha & Peter Howitt, 2007. "Accounting for Trends in Productivity and R&D: A Schumpeterian Critique of Semi-Endogenous Growth Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(4), pages 733-774, 06. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23782. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.