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Technological Diffusion, Convergence, and Growth

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

Abstract

We construct a model that combines elements of endogenous growth with the convergence implications of the neoclassical growth model. In the long run, the world growth rate is driven by discoveries in the technologically leading economies. Followers converge toward the leaders because copying is cheaper than innovation over some range. A tendency for copying costs to increase reduces followers' growth rate and thereby generates a pattern of conditional convergence. We discuss how countries are selected to be technological leaders, and we assess welfare implications. Poorly defined intellectual property rights imply that leaders have insufficient incentive to invent and followers have excessive incentive to copy.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1995. "Technological Diffusion, Convergence, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 5151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5151 Note: EFG
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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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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