Technological Diffusion, Convergence, and Growth

45 Pages Posted: 25 May 2006 Last revised: 31 Jul 2021

See all articles by Robert J. Barro

Robert J. Barro

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Xavier Sala-i-Martin

Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics

Date Written: June 1995

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

Barro, Robert J. and Sala-i-Martin, Francesc Xavier, Technological Diffusion, Convergence, and Growth (June 1995). NBER Working Paper No. w5151, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=225215

Robert J. Barro (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Francesc Xavier Sala-i-Martin

Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics ( email )

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