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Robert M. Solow

Bio: Robert M. Solow is an academic researcher from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The author has contributed to research in topic(s): Unemployment & Productivity. The author has an hindex of 77, co-authored 264 publication(s) receiving 57825 citation(s). Previous affiliations of Robert M. Solow include Princeton University & New York University.


Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: I. Introduction, 65. — II. A model of long-run growth, 66. — III. Possible growth patterns, 68. — IV. Examples, 73. — V. Behavior of interest and wage rates, 78. — VI. Extensions, 85. — VII. Qualifications, 91.

18,947 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: В статье производится анализ агрегированной производственной функции, вводится аппарат, позволяющий различать движение вдоль такой функции от ее сдвигов. На основании сделанных в статье предположений делаются выводы о характере технического прогресса и технологических изменений. Существенное внимание уделяется вариантам применения концепции агрегированной производственной функции.

10,116 citations

Book
01 Jan 1957

2,316 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Обсуждаются следующие темы: чистая теория производства, функциональное распределение дохода, технический прогресс, источники международных конкурентных преимуществ. Анализируются эластичность замещения между трудом и капиталом в обрабатывающей промышленности; производственные функции различного типа.

1,839 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The theory of optimal economic growth, in the form given it by Frank Ramsey and developed by many others, is thoroughly utilitarian in conception. It is utilitarian in the broad sense that social states are valued as a function of the utilities of individuals (individual moments of time, in this case, since individual persons are usually taken as identical and identically treated) with the possibility that a loss of utility to one individual (or generation) can be more than offset by an increment to another. It is also utilitarian in the narrow sense that social welfare is (usually 3) defined as the sum of the utilities of different individuals or generations. Recently the whole utilitarian approach to social choice has come under fundamental attack by John Rawls [9]. One particular view advanced by Rawls concerns me here. He argues, in effect, that inequality in the distribution of wealth or utility is justified only if it is a necessary condition for improvement in the position of the poorest individual or individuals. In other words, if social welfare, W, is to be written as a function of individual utilities U1, ..., U,, then Rawls argues for the particular function W = min (U1, ..., Un), so that maximizing social welfare amounts to maximizing the smallest Ui.4 This welfare function is sensitive only to gains and losses of utility by the poorest person. A Theory of Justice contains a section 5 explicitly devoted to equity between generations, i.e. the question that arises in the theory of optimal capital accumulation. Remarkably, the one thing this chapter does not do is to advocate unequivocally the max-min criterion espoused elsewhere in the book. In this context Rawls settles for such ambivalent statements as the following: " . . . the question of justice between generations.. . subjects any ethical theory to severe if not impossible tests.... I believe that it is not possible, at present anyway, to define precise limits on what the rate of savings should be. How the burden of capital accumulation and of raising the standard of civilization is to be shared between generations seems to admit of no definite answer. It does not follow, however, that certain bounds which impose significant ethical constraints cannot be formulated.... Thus it seems evident, for example, that the classical principle of utility leads in the wrong direction for questions of justice between generations. . . . Thus the utilitarian doctrine may direct us to demand heavy sacrifices of the poorer generations for the sake of greater advantages for later ones that are far better off. But this calculus of advantages which balances the

1,687 citations


Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Thls paper considers the prospects for constructing a neoclassical theory of growth and international trade that is consistent with some of the main features of economic development. Three models are considered and compared to evidence: a model emphasizing physical capital accumulation and technological change, a model emphasizing human capital accumulation through schooling, and a model emphasizing specialized human capital accumulation through learning-by-doing.

16,020 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This paper examines whether the Solow growth model is consistent with the international variation in the standard of living. It shows that an augmented Solow model that includes accumulation of human as well as physical capital provides an excellent description of the cross-country data. The paper also examines the implications of the Solow model for convergence in standards of living, that is, for whether poor countries tend to grow faster than rich countries. The evidence indicates that, holding population growth and capital accumulation constant, countries converge at about the rate the augmented Solow model predicts. This paper takes Robert Solow seriously. In his classic 1956 article Solow proposed that we begin the study of economic growth by assuming a standard neoclassical production function with decreasing returns to capital. Taking the rates of saving and population growth as exogenous, he showed that these two vari- ables determine the steady-state level of income per capita. Be- cause saving and population growth rates vary across countries, different countries reach different steady states. Solow's model gives simple testable predictions about how these variables influ- ence the steady-state level of income. The higher the rate of saving, the richer the country. The higher the rate of population growth, the poorer the country. This paper argues that the predictions of the Solow model are, to a first approximation, consistent with the evidence. Examining recently available data for a large set of countries, we find that saving and population growth affect income in the directions that Solow predicted. Moreover, more than half of the cross-country variation in income per capita can be explained by these two variables alone. Yet all is not right for the Solow model. Although the model correctly predicts the directions of the effects of saving and

13,644 citations

ReportDOI
Abstract: Growth in this model is driven by technological change that arises from intentional investment decisions made by profit-maximizing agents. The distinguishing feature of the technology as an input is that it is neither a conventional good nor a public good; it is a nonrival, partially excludable good. Because of the nonconvexity introduced by a nonrival good, price-taking competition cannot be supported. Instead, the equilibrium is one with monopolistic competition. The main conclusions are that the stock of human capital determines the rate of growth, that too little human capital is devoted to research in equilibrium, that integration into world markets will increase growth rates, and that having a large population is not sufficient to generate growth.

12,437 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Existing strategies for econometric analysis related to macroeconomics are subject to a number of serious objections, some recently formulated, some old. These objections are summarized in this paper, and it is argued that taken together they make it unlikely that macroeconomic models are in fact over identified, as the existing statistical theory usually assumes. The implications of this conclusion are explored, and an example of econometric work in a non-standard style, taking account of the objections to the standard style, is presented. THE STUDY OF THE BUSINESS cycle, fluctuations in aggregate measures of economic activity and prices over periods from one to ten years or so, constitutes or motivates a large part of what we call macroeconomics. Most economists would agree that there are many macroeconomic variables whose cyclical fluctuations are of interest, and would agree further that fluctuations in these series are interrelated. It would seem to follow almost tautologically that statistical models involving large numbers of macroeconomic variables ought to be the arena within which macroeconomic theories confront reality and thereby each other. Instead, though large-scale statistical macroeconomic models exist and are by some criteria successful, a deep vein of skepticism about the value of these models runs through that part of the economics profession not actively engaged in constructing or using them. It is still rare for empirical research in macroeconomics to be planned and executed within the framework of one of the large models. In this lecture I intend to discuss some aspects of this situation, attempting both to offer some explanations and to suggest some means for improvement. I will argue that the style in which their builders construct claims for a connection between these models and reality-the style in which "identification" is achieved for these models-is inappropriate, to the point at which claims for identification in these models cannot be taken seriously. This is a venerable assertion; and there are some good old reasons for believing it;2 but there are also some reasons which have been more recently put forth. After developing the conclusion that the identification claimed for existing large-scale models is incredible, I will discuss what ought to be done in consequence. The line of argument is: large-scale models do perform useful forecasting and policy-analysis functions despite their incredible identification; the restrictions imposed in the usual style of identification are neither essential to constructing a model which can perform these functions nor innocuous; an alternative style of identification is available and practical. Finally we will look at some empirical work based on an alternative style of macroeconometrics. A six-variable dynamic system is estimated without using 1 Research for this paper was supported by NSF Grant Soc-76-02482. Lars Hansen executed the computations. The paper has benefited from comments by many people, especially Thomas J. Sargent

10,387 citations

Posted Content
Abstract: Growth in this model is driven by technological change that arises from intentional investment decisions made by profit maximizing agents. The distinguishing feature of the technology as an input is that it is neither a conventional good nor a public good; it is a nonrival, partially excludable good. Because of the nonconvexity introduced by a nonrival good, price-taking competition cannot be supported, and instead, the equilibriumis one with monopolistic competition. The main conclusions are that the stock of human capital determines the rate of growth, that too little human capital is devoted to research in equilibrium, that integration into world markets will increase growth rates, and that having a large population is not sufficient to generate growth.

9,934 citations