Monday, July 27, 2015

Innovation, Diffusion, and Trade: Theory and Measurement

Access the publisher's website Journal of Monetary Economics (forthcoming)

What are the sources of economic growth? This paper presents a multicountry growth model of innovation and the adoption of foreign technologies through trade. The costs of both domestic innovation and adopting foreign innovations are estimated using data on innovation, output and trade. A decomposition of the sources of growth shows that technology adoption accounts for about 65% of “embodied” growth in developing countries. Developed countries grow mainly through domestic innovation, which explains 75% of their “embodied” growth. Counterfactuals show how growth rates and levels of income would change if countries faced the same barriers to adoption and research productivity.