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Quality-improving horizontal innovations

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Abstract

We modify the growth model with horizontal innovations from Romer (1990) and Jones (1995) by assuming that researchers can determine the quality of the products they invent. Because research effort increases with product quality, the researchers face a tradeoff between the quantity and the quality of their innovations. We show (i) that every product is slowly but steadily driven out of the market by superior goods, (ii) that the model does not exhibit a strong scale effect, (iii) that the long-run growth rate of the economy is not policy-invariant but can be controlled by quality-contingent R&D subsidies, and (iv) that the optimal solution can be decentralized using a mix of production subsidies, R&D subsidies, and lump-sum taxation.

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  • Gerhard Sorger, 2006. "Quality-improving horizontal innovations," Vienna Economics Papers 0609, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:vie:viennp:0609
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