Monetary and Economic Studies Vol.8, No.2 / September 1990

Explaining Japan's Innovation and Trade: A Model of Quality Competition and Dynamic Comparative Advantage

Gene M. Grossman

In this paper, I develop a model of dynamic comparative advantage based on endogenous innovation. Firms devote resources to R&D in order to improve the quality of high-technology products. Research successes generate profit opportunities in the world market. The model predicts that a country such as Japan, with an abundance of skilled labor and scarcity of natural resources, will specialize relatively in industrial innovation and in the production of high-technology goods. I use the model to explore the effects of R&D subsidies, production subsidies and trade policies on the long-run rates of innovation in the two trade partner countries and on the long-run pattern of trade.

Views expressed in the paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bank of Japan or Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies.

Copyright © 1990 Bank of Japan All Rights Reserved.

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