Creative Destruction Research Paper

A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction

Philippe Aghion, Peter Howitt

NBER Working Paper No. 3223
Issued in January 1990
NBER Program(s):Economic Fluctuations and Growth

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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w3223

Published: Econometrica, Vol. 60, no. 2 (1992): 323-352. citation courtesy of

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Has Creative Destruction Become More Destructive?

John Komlos

NBER Working Paper No. 20379
Issued in August 2014
NBER Program(s):Development Economics, Economic Fluctuations and Growth

Schumpeter's concept of creative destruction as the engine of capitalist development is well-known. However, that the destructive part of creative destruction is a social cost and therefore biases our estimate of the impact of the innovation on NNP and on welfare is hardly acknowledged, with the exception of Witt (1996). Admittedly, during the First and Second Industrial Revolutions the magnitude of the destructive component of innovation was probably small compared to the net value added to employment, NNP or to welfare. However, we conjecture that recently the new technologies are often creating products which are close substitutes for the ones they replace whose value depreciates substantially in the process of destruction. Consequently, the contribution of recent innovations to NNP is likely biased upward. This note calls for a research agenda to estimate innovations into their creative and destructive components in order to provide improved estimates of their contribution to NNP, welfare, and employment.

Acknowledgments

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20379

Published: Komlos John, 2016. "Has Creative Destruction become more Destructive?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(4), pages 1-12, October. citation courtesy of

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