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The long cycles of innovations, growth and the productivity gap between Europe and the United States

9th National Competition for Economic Research Grants

International economics

Senior Researcher : Klaus Desmet

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Research Centre or Institution : Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.


The aim of the project is to analyse and understand: a) how long-term growth can be sustained even if employment tends to move towards low-productivity sectors; b) how we can explain the increase in the productivity of services in the past decade and a half in the United States; c) how major technological changes arise endogenously; d) why there is resistance to the adoption of new technologies.


  • An initial article developed a spatial model of endogenous growth, demonstrating that structural transformation can explain the rise in productivity in the services sector. The model also demonstrates that there is a close relationship between the geographical distribution of the economic activity and growth.
  • A second article analysed the relationship between market size, the level of competition and resistance to the adoption of new technologies. It is argued that resistance arises in medium-sized markets. Empirical evidence is provided about guilds, consistent with the theory.
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