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Endogenous Product Cycles

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  • Gene M. Grossman
  • Elhanan Helpman

Abstract

We construct a model of the product cycle featuring endogenous innovation and endogenous technology transfer. Competitive entrepreneurs in the North expend resources to bring out new products whenever expected present discounted value of future oligopoly profits exceeds current product development costs. Each Northern oligopolist continuously faces the risk that its product will be copied by a Southern imitator, at which time its profit stream will come to an end. In the South, competitive entrepreneurs may devote resources to learning the production processes that have been developed in the North. There too, costs (of reverse engineering) must be covered by a stream of operating profits. We study the determinants of the long-run rate of growth of the world economy, and the long-run rate of technological diffusion. We also provide an analysis of the effects of exogenous events and of public policy on relative wage rates in the two regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1989. "Endogenous Product Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2913
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1989. "Product Development and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1261-1283, December.
    2. Dollar, David, 1986. "Technological Innovations, Capital Mobility, and the Product Cycle inNorth-South Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 177-190, March.
    3. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Innovation, Technology Transfer, and the World Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 253-266, April.
    4. Raymond Vernon, 1966. "International Investment and International Trade in the Product Cycle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 190-207.
    5. Segerstrom, Paul S & Anant, T C A & Dinopoulos, Elias, 1990. "A Schumpeterian Model of the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1077-1091, December.
    6. Jensen, Richard & Thursby, Marie, 1986. "A strategic approach to the product life cycle," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3-4), pages 269-284, November.
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