Learning by doing and the choice of technology

Boyan Jovanovic, Yaw Nyarko

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This is a one-agent Bayesian model of learning by doing and technology choice. The more the agent uses a technology, the better he learns its parameters, and the more productive he gets. This expertise is a form of human capital. Any given technology has bounded productivity, which therefore can grow in the long run only if the agent keeps switching to better technologies. But a switch of technologies temporarily reduces expertise: The bigger is the technological leap, the bigger the loss in expertise. The prospect of a productivity drop may prevent the agent from climbing the technological ladder as quickly as he might. Indeed, an agent may be so skilled at some technology that he will never switch again, so that he will experience no long-run growth. In contrast, someone who is less skilled (and therefore less productive) at that technology may find it optimal to switch technologies over and over again, and therefore enjoy long-run growth in output. Thus the model can give rise to overtaking.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1299-1310
    Number of pages12
    JournalEconometrica
    Volume64
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Nov 1996

    Fingerprint

    learning
    Expertise
    Long-run
    Switch
    expertise
    Productivity
    productivity
    Human Capital
    Learning
    Learning-by-doing
    Bayesian Model
    human capital
    Output
    experience
    Long-run growth
    Model

    Keywords

    • Growth
    • Human capital
    • Overtaking

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics
    • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
    • Statistics and Probability
    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

    Cite this

    Jovanovic, B., & Nyarko, Y. (1996). Learning by doing and the choice of technology. Econometrica, 64(6), 1299-1310.

    Learning by doing and the choice of technology. / Jovanovic, Boyan; Nyarko, Yaw.

    In: Econometrica, Vol. 64, No. 6, 11.1996, p. 1299-1310.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Jovanovic, B & Nyarko, Y 1996, 'Learning by doing and the choice of technology', Econometrica, vol. 64, no. 6, pp. 1299-1310.
    Jovanovic B, Nyarko Y. Learning by doing and the choice of technology. Econometrica. 1996 Nov;64(6):1299-1310.
    Jovanovic, Boyan ; Nyarko, Yaw. / Learning by doing and the choice of technology. In: Econometrica. 1996 ; Vol. 64, No. 6. pp. 1299-1310.
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