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Quality Improvements in Models of Growth

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  • Robert J. Barro
  • Xavier Sala-i-Martin

Abstract

Technological progress takes the form of improvements in quality of an array of intermediate inputs to production. In an equilibrium that is standard in the literature, all research is carried out by outsiders, and success means that the outsider replaces the incumbent as the industry leader. The equilibrium research intensity involves three considerations: leading-edge goods are priced above the competitive level, innovators value the extraction of monopoly rents from predecessors, and innovators regard their successes as temporary. We show that, if industry leaders have lower costs of research, then the leaders will do all the research in equilibrium. However, if the cost advantage is not too large, then the equilibrium research intensity and growth rate depend on the existence of the competitive fringe and take on the same values as in the standard solution. We discuss the departures from Pareto optimality and analyze the determination of the economy's rate of return and growth rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1994. "Quality Improvements in Models of Growth," NBER Working Papers 4610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4610
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
    2. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    3. Alwyn Young, 1993. "Substitution and Complementarity in Endogenous Innovation," NBER Working Papers 4256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
    5. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    6. Elise Brezis & Paul Krugman & Daniel Tsiddon, 1991. "Leapfrogging: A Theory of Cycles in National Technological Leadership," NBER Working Papers 3886, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
    8. Alwyn Young, 1993. "Substitution and Complementarity in Endogenous Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 775-807.
    9. Reinganum, Jennifer F., 1989. "The timing of innovation: Research, development, and diffusion," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 849-908 Elsevier.
    10. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Smolny, Werner, 1997. "Endogenous innovations in a model of the firm: Theory and empirical application for West-German manufacturing firms," Discussion Papers 39, University of Konstanz, Center for International Labor Economics (CILE).
    2. Angelopoulos, Konstantinos & Jiang, Wei & Malley, James, 2015. "Fiscal multipliers in a two-sector search and matching model," SIRE Discussion Papers 2015-67, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    3. Piercarlo Zanchettin & Vincenzo Denicolò, 2009. "Leadership Cycles," Discussion Papers in Economics 09/25, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    4. Ka Wai Terence Fung & Chi Keung Marco Lau & Kwok Ho Chan, 2016. "An R&D-based real business cycle model," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 63(4), pages 327-358, December.
    5. Angelopoulos, Konstantinos & Jiang, Wei & Malley, James, 2015. "Fiscal multipliers in a two-sector search and matching model," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-67, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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