We develop a model of repeated product improvements in a continuum of
sectors. Each product follows a stochastic progression up a quality ladder.
Progress is not uniform across sectors, so an equilibrium distribution of
qualities evolves over time. But the rate of aggregate growth is constant.
The growth rate responds to profit incentives in the R&D sector. We explore
the welfare properties of our model. Then we relate our approach to an
alternative one that views product innovation as a process of generating an
ever expanding range of horizontally differentiated products. Finally, we
apply the model to issues of resource accumulation and international trade.
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