NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Technological Diffusion, Convergence, and Growth

Robert J. Barro, Xavier Sala-i-Martin

NBER Working Paper No. 5151
Issued in June 1995
NBER Program(s):   EFG

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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w5151

Published: Journal of Economic Growth, Vol. 2, no. 1 (March 1997): 1-26.

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