Technology, industrial structure, financial institutions and economic growth
This thesis studies the relationship between technology and industrial structure in the context of a growing market economy. Chapters 2 and 5 develop some general equilibrium models which permit a study of the relationship between quality competition, market structure and growth. Both market structure and the rate of growth are determined endogenously as functions of underlying parameters describing the pattern of technology and tastes, and the institutional environment. It is argued that quality competition constitutes an economic mechanism of primary importance, which provides essential incentives for innovation at the industry level, while also contributing to aggregate technological progress by way of R&D spillover effects. A related theme of the thesis is that constraints on quality competition are detrimental to growth. Chapter 3 presents a theoretical model which explains certain statistical regularities regarding cohort survival patterns, the persistence of firm turnover, and the appearance of shakeouts during an industry life cycle. By treating the market as comprising a number of strategically independent submarkets, this analysis separates the strategic interaction effects which occur at the submarket level, from the independence effects which operate across submarkets. Chapter 4 studies competition between two cohorts of radically different but substitutable technologies. By analyzing the entry of new-technology- based firms, the exit of incumbents and subsequent quality competition, this chapter explores the impact of a radical innovation on market structure and on the turnover of firms. Two critical levels of the parameter which measures the efficiency of the new technology are identified: the first must be attained for 'creative destruction' to take place, while the second must be attained for this 'creative destruction' process to take a 'drastic' form which involves the complete replacement of currently active firms by a wave of new entrants.