Are Ideas Getting Harder to Find?
AbstractLong-run growth in many models is the product of two terms: the effective number of researchers and their research productivity. We present evidence from various industries, products, and firms showing that research effort is rising substantially while research productivity is declining sharply. A good example is Moore's Law. The number of researchers required today to achieve the famous doubling of computer chip density is more than 18 times larger than the number required in the early 1970s. More generally, everywhere we look we find that ideas, and the exponential growth they imply, are getting harder to find.
CitationBloom, Nicholas, Charles I. Jones, John Van Reenen, and Michael Webb. 2020. "Are Ideas Getting Harder to Find?" American Economic Review, 110 (4): 1104-44. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20180338
- D24 Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
- E23 Macroeconomics: Production
- O31 Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
- O47 Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence