FEEM working papers "Note di lavoro" series
2007 .048

A Politico-Economic Model of Aging, Technology Adoption and Growth


Authors: Giovanni Prarolo, Francesco Lancia
Series: Economy and Society
Editor: Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano
Type: Journal
Keywords: Growth,Life Expectancy,Human Capital,Systemic Innovation,Majority Voting
JEL n.: D70,J10,O14,O31,O43
JEL: Forthcoming in Journal of Population Economics

Abstract

Over the past century, all OECD countries have been characterized by a dramatic increase in economic conditions, life expectancy and educational attainment. This paper provides a positive theory that explains how an economy might evolve when the longevity of its citizens both influences and is influenced by the process of economic development. We propose a three periods OLG model where agents, during their lifetime, cover different economic roles characterized by different incentive schemes and time horizon. Agents’ decisions embrace two dimensions: the private choice about education and the public one upon innovation policy. The theory focuses on the crucial role played by heterogeneous interests in determining innovation policies, which are one of the keys to the growth process: the economy can be discontinuously innovation-oriented due to the different incentives of individuals and different schemes of political aggregation of preferences. The model produces multiple development regimes associated with different predictions about life expectancy evolution, educational investment dynamics, and technology adoption policies. Transitions between these regimes depend on initial conditions and parameter values.

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