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Substitution and Complementarity in Endogenous Innovation

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  • Alwyn Young

Abstract

The influence of Schumpeter's notion of "creative destruction" may have led to an overemphasis on substitution between technologies in recent models of endogenous innovation. Historical examples of technological change suggest that new technologies may just as frequently complement older technologies, creating, rather than destroying, rents. Acknowledgement of the potential for both substitution and complementarity amongst inventions allows for a much richer characterization of the growth process, creating the possibility of threshold effects and multiple equilibria, and bringing to the forefront the important role played by the expectations of inventive entrepreneurs.

Suggested Citation

  • Alwyn Young, 1993. "Substitution and Complementarity in Endogenous Innovation," NBER Working Papers 4256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4256
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1991. "Increasing Returns, Industrialization, and Indeterminacy of Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 617-650.
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    8. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
    9. Mak, James & Walton, Gary M., 1972. "Steamboats and the Great Productivity Surge In River Transportation," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(03), pages 619-640, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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