Quality Ladders and Product Cycles

47 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2004

See all articles by Gene M. Grossman

Gene M. Grossman

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; Princeton University - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Elhanan Helpman

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: December 1989

Abstract

We develop a two-country model of endogenous innovation and imitation in order to study the interactions between these two processes. Firms in the North race to bring out the next generation of a set of technology-intensive products. Each product potentially can be improved a countably infinite number of times, but quality improvements require the investment of resources and entail uncertain prospects of success. In the South, entrepreneurs invest resources in order to learn the production processes that have been developed in the North. All R&D investment decisions are made by forward looking, profit maximizing entrepreneurs. The steady-state equilibrium is characterized by constant aggregate rates of innovation and imitation. We study how these rates respond to changes in the sizes of the two regions and to policies in each region to promote learning.

Suggested Citation

Grossman, Gene M. and Helpman, Elhanan, Quality Ladders and Product Cycles (December 1989). NBER Working Paper No. w3201. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=320264

Gene M. Grossman (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

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Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Elhanan Helpman

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-4690 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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