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For Sale: Barriers to Riches

  • Benjamin R. Bridgman

    (Louisiana State University)

  • Igor D. Livshits

    (University of Western Ontario)

  • James C. MacGee

    (University of Western Ontario)

This paper formallizes stories linking vested interests to the non- adoption of superior technologies. Coalitions of workers skilled in the operation of incumbent technologies lobby government for a prohibition on the adoption of better technologies. For reasonable parameter values, we find that the model generates significant levels of protection in equilibrium. The model also generates protection cycles that lead to TFP growth cycles. Protection has a level effect on per capita output. "Productivity slowdowns" lead to increased levels of protection. The level of protection is increasing in the venality of governments. Increased population growth rates increase the value of protection, and can lead to an increase in the level of protection.

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Paper provided by University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute in its series University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers with number 20043.

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Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uwo:epuwoc:20043
Contact details of provider: Postal: Economic Policy Research Institute, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C2
Phone: 519-661-2111 Ext.85244
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  1. Krusell, Per & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1996. "Vested Interests in a Positive Theory of Stagnation and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 301-29, April.
  2. Ann Harrison & Gordon Hanson, 1999. "Who Gains from Trade Reform? Some Remaining Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 6915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-50, September.
  4. Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & López-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "The Regulation of Entry," CEPR Discussion Papers 2953, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Bridgman, Benjamin R. & Livshits, Igor D. & MacGee, James C., 2007. "Vested interests and technology adoption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 649-666, April.
  6. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  7. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 1997. "Monopoly rights: a barrier to riches," Staff Report 236, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Thomas J. Holmes & James A. Schmitz, 1994. "Resistance to technology and trade between areas," Staff Report 184, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Kelley, Allen C, 1988. "Economic Consequences of Population Change in the Third World," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 1685-1728, December.
  10. Giorgio Bellettini & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Special Interests and Technological Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 43-56.
  11. Pritchett, Lant, 1998. "Patterns of economic growth : hills, plateaus, mountains, and plains," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1947, The World Bank.
  12. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
  13. Thomas J. Holmes & James A. Schmitz, 1995. "Resistance to new technology and trade between areas," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-17.
  14. Lori G. Kletzer, 1998. "Job Displacement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 115-136, Winter.
  15. Chari, V V & Hopenhayn, Hugo, 1991. "Vintage Human Capital, Growth, and the Diffusion of New Technology," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1142-65, December.
  16. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Barriers to Riches," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661306, June.
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