A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction

50 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2001

See all articles by Philippe Aghion

Philippe Aghion

College de France and London School of Economics and Political Science, Fellow; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Peter Howitt

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

Date Written: January 1990

Abstract

This paper develops a model based on Schumpeter's process of creative destruction. It departs from existing models of endogenous growth in emphasizing obsolescence of old technologies induced by the accumulation of knowledge and the resulting process or industrial innovations. This has both positive and normative implications for growth. In positive terms, the prospect of a high level of research in the future can deter research today by threatening the fruits of that research with rapid obsolescence. In normative terms, obsolescence creates a negative externality from innovations, and hence a tendency for laissez-faire economies to generate too many innovations, i.e too much growth. This "business-stealing" effect is partly compensated by the fact that innovations tend to be too small under laissez-faire. The model possesses a unique balanced growth equilibrium in which the log of GNP follows a random walk with drift. The size of the drift is the average growth rate of the economy and it is endogenous to the model ; in particular it depends on the size and likelihood of innovations resulting from research and also on the degree of market power available to an innovator.

Suggested Citation

Aghion, Philippe and Howitt, Peter, A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction (January 1990). NBER Working Paper No. w3223. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=226706

Philippe Aghion (Contact Author)

College de France and London School of Economics and Political Science, Fellow ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Peter Howitt

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Box B
Providence, RI 02912
United States
401-863-2145 (Phone)
401-863-1970 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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