Smithian growth through creative organization

Legros, P., Newman, A. F. and Proto, E. (2014) Smithian growth through creative organization. Review of Economics and Statistics, 96(5), pp. 796-811. (doi: 10.1162/REST_a_00421)

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We model technological progress as an external effect of organizational design, focusing on how factories, based on labor division, could spawn the Industrial Revolution. Dividing labor, as Adam Smith argued, facilitates invention by observers of production processes. However, entrepreneurs cannot internalize this benefit and choose labor division to facilitate monitoring. Equilibrium with few entrepreneurs features low wage shares, and high specialization, but a limited market for innovations. Conversely, with many entrepreneurs, there is a large market for innovation but little specialization because of high wage shares. Technological progress therefore occurs with a moderate scarcity of entrepreneurs. Institutional improvements affect growth ambiguously.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Newman, Professor Andrew and Proto, Professor Eugenio
Authors: Legros, P., Newman, A. F., and Proto, E.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Review of Economics and Statistics
Publisher:MIT Press
ISSN (Online):1530-9142
Published Online:29 October 2013
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
First Published:First published in Review of Economics and Statistics 96(5):796-811
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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