Competition, Innovation and Growth with Limited Commitment
We study how barriers to business start-up affect the investment in knowledge capital when contracts are not enforceable. Barriers to business start-up lower the competition for knowledge capital and, in absence of commitment, reduce the incentive to accumulate knowledge. As a result, countries with large barriers experience lower income and growth. Our results are consistent with cross-country evidence showing that the cost of business start-up is negatively correlated with the level and growth of income.
We study how barriers to competition---such as restrictions to business start-up and strict enforcement of covenants or IPR---affect the investment in knowledge capital when contracts are not enforceable. These barriers lower the competition for human capital and reduce the incentive to accumulate knowledge. We show in a dynamic general equilibrium model that this mechanism has the potential to account for significant cross-country income inequality.
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