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How production networks amplify economic growth

Technological improvement is the most important cause of long-term economic growth. We study the effects of technology improvement in the setting of a production network, in which each producer buys input goods and converts them to other goods, selling the product to households or other producers.

We show how this network amplifies the effects of technological improvements as they propagate along chains of production. Longer production chains for an industry bias it toward faster price reduction, and longer production chains for a country bias it toward faster growth. These predictions are in good agreement with data and improve with the passage of time, demonstrating a key influence of production chains in price change and output growth over the long term.

 

J. McNerney, C. Savoie, F. Caravelli, V.M. Carvalho, J.D. Farmer, How production networks amplify economic growth, PNAS 119 (1) (2022) e2106031118.

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