Working Paper

On the timing of innovation in stochastic Schumpeterian growth models


Abstract: Recent work has revived the Schumpeterian hypothesis that recessions facilitate innovation and growth. But a major source of productivity growth, research and development, is actually procyclical. This paper argues that while it is optimal to concentrate growth enhancing activities in downturns, dynamic spillovers inherent to the R&D process lead private agents to concentrate too much of their R&D activity in booms, precisely when its social cost is highest. Thus, while previous literature has argued recessions promote growth and intertemporal substitution is a desirable consequence of fluctuations, in the case of R&D recessions discourage growth and intertemporal substitution proves to be a social liability.

Keywords: Research and development;

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Authors

    Barlevy, Gadi

Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Part of Series: Working Paper Series

Publication Date: 2004

Number: WP-04-11