The Dynamic Process of Economic Takeoff and Industrial Transformation
Frontiers of Economics in China. 2016, 11 (1): 60-87.
This paper studies the patterns and key determinants of staged economic development. We construct a two-sector dynamic general equilibrium model populated with one-period lived non-overlapping generations, featuring endogenous enhancement in modern technology and endogenous accumulation of labor skills and capital funds. We consider preference biases toward the traditional sector of necessities, capital barriers to the modern sector, and imperfect substitution between skilled and unskilled workers. By calibrating the model to fit historic U.S. development, we find that modern technologies, saving incentives and capital scales/barriers are the most important determinants of the takeoff time. By evaluating the process of economic development, we identify that what shapes saving incentives is most crucial for the speed of modernization after taking off. We further establish that labor, capital and output are most responsive to the initial state of modern technologies, but least responsive to skill endowments, along the dynamic transition path