Staley, Mark (2008): Innovation, Diffusion and the Distribution of Income in a Malthusian Economy.

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Abstract
Between 5000 BCE and 1800, the population of the world grew 120fold despite constraints on the total amount of land available for production. This paper develops a model linking population growth to increasing productivity driven by random innovation and diffusion. People are endowed with a set of skills obtained from their parents or neighbours, but those skills are imperfectly applied during their lifetimes. The resulting variation in productivity leads to a distribution of income and to a process of diffusion whereby highincome activities spread at the expense of lowincome activities. An analytic formula is derived for the steadystate distribution of income. The model predicts that the rate of growth of population approaches an asymptotic limit, whereupon there are no scale effects. The model also predicts that if the rate of diffusion of knowledge is increased, the growth rate will increase.
Item Type:  MPRA Paper 

Original Title:  Innovation, Diffusion and the Distribution of Income in a Malthusian Economy 
Language:  English 
Keywords:  Selection; Malthusian; Diffusion; Innovation 
Subjects:  O  Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth > O3  Innovation ; Research and Development ; Technological Change ; Intellectual Property Rights > O30  General C  Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C0  General > C02  Mathematical Methods N  Economic History > N0  General > N00  General O  Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth > O4  Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity > O40  General 
Item ID:  9849 
Depositing User:  Mark Staley 
Date Deposited:  06. Aug 2008 23:43 
Last Modified:  23. Feb 2015 22:29 
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URI:  https://mpra.ub.unimuenchen.de/id/eprint/9849 