Distorted Innovation: Does the Market Get the Direction of Technology Right?
AbstractIn the presence of markup differences, externalities, and other social effects, the direction of innovation can be systematically distorted. I build a simple model of endogenous technology to study distortions in the direction of innovation. Empirical findings across a number of different areas are consistent with this framework's predictions. I use data from several studies to estimate the framework's key parameters and combine them with rough estimates of differential externalities and markups to provide suggestive evidence that innovation distortions can be substantial in the context of industrial automation, health care, and energy, and that correcting them could have sizable welfare benefits.
CitationAcemoglu, Daron. 2023. "Distorted Innovation: Does the Market Get the Direction of Technology Right?" AEA Papers and Proceedings, 113: 1-28. DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20231000
- D62 Externalities
- I10 Health: General
- L52 Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods
- O31 Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
- O33 Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
- O38 Technological Change: Government Policy
- Q40 Energy: General