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The Impact of Public Policies on Innovation and Imitation: The Role of R&D Technology in Growth Models

Leonard K Cheng and Zhigang Tao ()

International Economic Review, 1999, vol. 40, issue 1, 187-207

Abstract: It has been shown under the assumption of linear R&D technology that a government subsidy to imitative (innovative) R&D decreases (increases) imitative effort but increases (decreases) innovative effort, and that strengthening the enforcement of patent laws leads to a decrease in innovative R&D but to an increase in imitative R&D. By replacing the linear R&D technology with a sufficiently convex R&D technology, we have shown that the counter-intuitive results are reversed. In the case of linear R&D technology, the socially optimal R&D policies and activities are indeterminate, but with convex R&D technology, optimal innovation and imitation subsidies would induce the market to generate socially "balanced" innovative and imitative activities. Copyright 1999 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

Date: 1999
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International Economic Review is currently edited by Harold L. Cole

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