Creator: Boldrin, Michele, Christiano, Lawrence J., and Fisher, Jonas D. M. (Jonas Daniel Maurice), 1965- Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 560 Abstract:
We develop a model which accounts for the observed equity premium and average risk-free rate, without implying counterfactually high risk aversion. The model also does well in accounting for business-cycle phenomena. With respect to the conventional measures of business-cycle volatility and comovement with output, the model does roughly as well as the standard business-cycle model. On two other dimensions, the model’s business-cycle implications are actually improved. Its enhanced internal propagation allows it to account for the fact that there is positive persistence in output growth, and the model also provides a resolution to the “excess sensitivity puzzle” for consumption and income. Two key features of the model are habit persistence preferences and a multisector technology with limited intersectoral mobility of factors of production.
Creator: Boldrin, Michele and Levine, David K. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 360 Abstract:
Intellectual property protection involves a trade-off between the undesirability of monopoly and the desirable encouragement of creation and innovation. As the scale of the market increases, due either to economic and population growth or to the expansion of trade through treaties such as the World Trade Organization, this trade-off changes. We show that, generally speaking, the socially optimal amount of protection decreases as the scale of the market increases. We also provide simple empirical estimates of how much it should decrease.
Keyword: Intellectual Property, Monopoly, Innovation, International Trade, and Harmonization
Creator: Boldrin, Michele, De Nardi, Mariacristina, and Jones, Larry E. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 359 Abstract:
The data show that an increase in government provided old-age pensions is strongly correlated with a reduction in fertility. What type of model is consistent with this finding? We explore this question using two models of fertility: one by Barro and Becker (1989), and one inspired by Caldwell (1978, 1982) and developed by Boldrin and Jones (2002). In Barro and Becker’s model parents have children because they perceive their children’s lives as a continuation of their own. In Boldrin and Jones’ framework parents procreate because children care about their parents’ utility, and thus provide them with old-age transfers. The effect of increases in government provided pensions on fertility in the Barro and Becker model is very small, whereas the effect on fertility in the Boldrin and Jones model is sizeable and accounts for between 55 and 65% of the observed Europe-U.S. fertility differences both across countries and across time.
Keyword: Intra-family transfers, Financial Markets, Fertility, and Social Security Subject (JEL): O10 - Economic Development: General, J10 - Demographic Economics: General, E10 - General Aggregative Models: General, and J13 - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
Creator: Boldrin, Michele and Levine, David K. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 357 Abstract:
Innovation and the adoption of new ideas are fundamental to economic progress. Here we examine the underlying economics of the market for ideas. From a positive perspective, we examine how such markets function with and without government intervention. From a normative perspective, we examine the pitfalls of existing institutions, and how they might be improved. We highlight recent research by ourselves and others challenging the notion that government awards of monopoly through patents and copyright are “the way” to provide appropriate incentives for innovation.
Creator: Boldrin, Michele and Levine, David K. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 347 Abstract:
Innovations and their adoption are the keys to growth and development. Innovations are less socially useful, but more profitable for the innovator, when they are adopted slowly and the innovator remains a monopolist. For this reason, rent-seeking, both public and private, plays an important role in determining the social usefulness of innovations. This paper examines the political economy of intellectual property, analyzing the trade-off between private and public rent-seeking. While it is true in principle that public rent-seeking may be a substitute for private rent-seeking, it is not true that this results always either in less private rent-seeking or in a welfare improvement. When the public sector itself is selfish and behaves rationally, we may experience the worst of public and private rent-seeking together.
Keyword: Patent, Intellectual property, Rent seeking, Trade secrecy, and Innovation Subject (JEL): D42 - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design: Monopoly and D62 - Externalities
Creator: Boldrin, Michele and Levine, David K. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 339 Abstract:
In the modern theory of growth, monopoly plays a crucial role both as a cause and an effect of innovation. Innovative firms, it is argued, would have insufficient incentive to innovate should the prospect of monopoly power not be present. This theme of monopoly runs throughout the theory of growth, international trade, and industrial organization. We argue that monopoly is neither needed for, nor a necessary consequence of, innovation. In particular, intellectual property is not necessary for, and may hurt more than help, innovation and growth. We argue that, as a practical matter, it is more likely to hurt.
Keyword: Intellectual Property, Growth, Innovation, Capital Accumulation, and Trade Subject (JEL): O34 - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital, L43 - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation, O31 - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives, O47 - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence, L11 - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms, and F11 - Neoclassical Models of Trade
Creator: Boldrin, Michele and Montes, Ana Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 336 Abstract:
When credit markets to finance investment in human capital are missing, the competitive equilibrium allocation is inefficient. When generations overlap, this failure can be mitigated by properly designed social arrangements. We show that public financing of education and public pensions can be designed to implement an intergenerational transfer scheme supporting the complete market allocation. Neither the public financing of education nor the pension scheme we consider resemble standard ones. In our mechanism, via the public education system, the young borrow from the middle aged to invest in human capital. They pay back the debt via a social security tax, the proceedings of which finance pension payments. When the complete market allocation is achieved, the rate of return implicit in this borrowing-lending scheme should equal the market rate of return.
Keyword: Public education, Efficient intergenerational arrangements, and Public pensions Subject (JEL): O11 - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development, H42 - Publicly Provided Private Goods, H30 - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents: General, H11 - Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government, and I20 - Education and Research Institutions: General
Creator: Boldrin, Michele and Levine, David K. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 301 Abstract:
We study a simple model of factor saving technological innovation in a concave framework. Capital can be used either to reproduce itself or, at additional cost, to produce a higher quality of capital that requires less labor input. If higher quality capital can be produced quickly, we get a model of exogenous balanced growth as a special case. If, however, higher quality capital can be produced slowly, we get a model of endogenous growth in which the growth rate of the economy and the rate of adoption of new technologies are determined by preferences, technology, and initial conditions. Moreover, in the latter case, the process of growth is necessarily uneven, exhibiting a natural cycle with alternating periods of high and low growth. Growth paths and technological innovations also exhibit dependence upon initial conditions. The model provides a step toward a theory of endogenous innovation under conditions of perfect competition.
Keyword: Processes and incentives, Aggregate productivity, Technological change, One, two and multisector growth models, Choices and consequences, Innovation and invention, and Measurement of economic growth Subject (JEL): O30 - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights: General, D24 - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity, D41 - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design: Perfect Competition, O40 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity: General, and C61 - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
Creator: Boldrin, Michele and Levine, David K. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 279 Abstract:
Market booms are often followed by dramatic falls. To explain this requires an asymmetry in the underlying shocks. A straightforward model of technological progress generates asymmetries that are also the source of growth cycles. Assuming a representative consumer, we show that the stock market generally rises, punctuated by occasional dramatic falls. With high risk aversion, bad news causes dramatic increases in prices. Bad news does not correspond to a contraction of existing production possibilities, but to a slowdown in their rate of expansion. This economy provides a model of endogenous growth cycles in which recoveries and recessions are dictated by the adoption of innovations.
Keyword: Technological Revolutions, Stock Market Value, and Growth Cycles Subject (JEL): O30 - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights: General, G12 - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates, O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models, and O40 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity: General
Creator: Boldrin, Michele, Christiano, Lawrence J., and Fisher, Jonas D. M. (Jonas Daniel Maurice), 1965- Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 280 Abstract:
We introduce two modifications into the standard real business cycle model: habit persistence preferences and limitations on intersectoral factor mobility. The resulting model is consistent with the observed mean equity premium, mean risk free rate and Sharpe ratio on equity. The model does roughly as well as the standard real business cycle model with respect to standard measures. On four other dimensions its business cycle implications represent a substantial improvement. It accounts for (i) persistence in output, (ii) the observation that employment across different sectors moves together over the business cycle, (iii) the evidence of ‘excess sensitivity’ of consumption growth to output growth, and (iv) the ‘inverted leading indicator property of interest rates,’ that high interest rates are negatively correlated with future output.
Keyword: Asset pricing , Capital gains, Habit persistence , and Risk aversion Subject (JEL): E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, and O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models