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

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, Boyan ; Nyarko, Yaw. / Learning by doing and the choice of technology. In: Econometrica. 1996 ; Vol. 64, No. 6. pp. 1299-1310.
@article{0fc6781e15f143a687aa000315d4cd51,
title = "Learning by doing and the choice of technology",
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.",
keywords = "Growth, Human capital, Overtaking",
author = "Boyan Jovanovic and Yaw Nyarko",
year = "1996",
month = "11",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "64",
pages = "1299--1310",
journal = "Econometrica",
issn = "0012-9682",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Learning by doing and the choice of technology

AU - Jovanovic, Boyan

AU - Nyarko, Yaw

PY - 1996/11

Y1 - 1996/11

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - Growth

KW - Human capital

KW - Overtaking

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0001255098&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0001255098&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0001255098

VL - 64

SP - 1299

EP - 1310

JO - Econometrica

JF - Econometrica

SN - 0012-9682

IS - 6

ER -