Social Learning and Innovation Cycles (revision of DP#1516, The Dynamics of Innovation)
We study social learning and innovation in an overlapping generations model, emphasizing the trade-off between marginal innovation (combining existing technologies) and radical innovation (breaking new ground). We characterize both short-term and long-term dynamics of innovation, and the intergenerational accumulation of knowledge. Innovation cycles emerge endogenously, but the number of cycles is finite almost surely, and radical innovation terminates infinite time. We identify a negative relationship between past successes and the magnitude of radical innovation, combining insights from the multi-armed bandit literature with a spatial representation of innovation. Past successes reduce the incremental value of experimentation, and result in less ambitious innovation. In our framework, patents promote radical innovation through two channels: by increasing the expected benefit of radical innovation and by increasing the cost of marginal innovation. Our analysis suggests that sustaining radical innovation in the long-run requires external intervention.
|Date of creation:||06 Feb 2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science, Northwestern University, 580 Jacobs Center, 2001 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208-2014|
Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton & Christopher Harris & Bruno Jullien, 1991.
"Optimal Learning by Experimentation,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 58(4), pages 621-654.
- Aghion, P. & Bolton, P. & Harris, C. & Jullien, B., 1990. "Optimal Learning By Experimentation," DELTA Working Papers 90-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
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- Acemoglu, Daron & Gancia, Gino & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2012. "Competing engines of growth: Innovation and standardization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 570-601.3.
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- Daron Acemoglu & Gino Gancia & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2010. "Competing Engines of Growth: Innovation and Standardization," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000243, David K. Levine.
- Daron Acemoglu & Gino Gancia & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2010. "Competing engines of growth: innovation and standardization," IEW - Working Papers 483, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Daron Acemoglu & Gino Gancia & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2010. "Competing Engines of Growth: Innovation and Standardization," NBER Working Papers 15958, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Garicano, Luis & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2012. "Organizing growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 623-656.
- Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2007. "Organizing Growth," NBER Working Papers 13705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Luis Garicano, 2008. "Organizing Growth," 2008 Meeting Papers 247, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Steven Callander, 2011. "Searching and Learning by Trial and Error," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2277-2308, October.
- McLennan, Andrew, 1984. "Price dispersion and incomplete learning in the long run," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 331-347, September. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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