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Catch-up and Fall-back through Innovation and Imitation

Jess Benhabib (), Jesse Perla () and Christopher Tonetti ()

No 18091, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Will fast growing emerging economies sustain rapid growth rates until they "catch-up" to the technology frontier? Are there incentives for some developed countries to free-ride off of innovators and optimally "fallback" relative to the frontier? This paper models agents growing as a result of investments in innovation and imitation. Imitation facilitates technology diffusion, with the productivity of imitation modeled by a catch-up function that increases with distance to the frontier. The resulting equilibrium is an endogenous segmentation between innovators and imitators, where imitating agents optimally choose to "catch-up" or "fall-back" to a productivity ratio below the frontier.

JEL-codes: O14 O30 O31 O33 O40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dge and nep-ino
Note: EFG
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Published as Jess Benhabib & Jesse Perla & Christopher Tonetti, 2014. "Catch-up and fall-back through innovation and imitation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 1-35, March.

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