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A Model of Innovation, Technology Transfer, and the World Distribution of Income

This paper develops a simple general-equilibrium model of product cycle trade. There are two countries, innovating North and noninnovating South. Innovation consists of the development of new products. These can be produced at first only in North, but eventually the technology of production becomes available to South. This technological lag gives rise to trade, with North exporting new products and importing old products. Higher Northern per capita income depends on the quasi rents from the Northern monopoly of new products, so that North must continually innovate not only to maintain its relative position but even to maintain its real income in absolute terms.