nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2005‒03‒06
four papers chosen by
Jeong-Joon Lee
Towson University

  1. Technology Spillover through Trade and TFP Convergence: 120 Years of Evidence for the OECD Countries By Jakob Brøchner Madsen
  2. Policy Variability in Models of Endogenous Growth with Productive Spending. By D Varvarigos
  3. How Robust Are the Linkages Between Religiosity and Economic Growth By Chih Ming Tan; Steven N. Durlauf; Andros Kourtellos
  4. No One True Path: Uncovering the Interplay between Geography, Institutions, and Fractionalization in Economic Development By Chih Ming Tan

  1. By: Jakob Brøchner Madsen (Institute of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: Using a new dataset on imports of technology and total factor productivity (TFP) over more than a century for the OECD countries, this paper tests for international technological transmission through trade. The empirical estimates suggest that imports of knowledge have been responsible for an almost 200% increase in TFP over the past century, but that the spillover effect has been highly unevenly distributed across countries, but has contributed to TFP convergence among the OECD countries.
    Keywords: technology spillovers; imports; TFP convergence
    JEL: E13 E22 E23 O11 O3
    Date: 2005–02
  2. By: D Varvarigos
    Abstract: Existing theoretical analyses have shown that if policy variables affect investmentdecisions in either physical or human capital then an increase in policy variability results in higher trend output growth as individuals respond to higher uncertainty with a precautionary increase in these types of investment. In this paper I present two models in which policy variability arises from randomness in the provision of productive spending. In the first model, public spending enters as an input in the production technology of the economy. In this case I find that the sign of the policy variability-growth relationship depends critically on the technological parameters of the production function. In the second model, public spending is an input on the education sector of the economy. In this case I find that policy variability is always growth retarding as individuals respond to increased uncertainty by actually reducing rather than increasing their investment in human capital.
    Date: 2005
  3. By: Chih Ming Tan; Steven N. Durlauf; Andros Kourtellos
    Abstract: Do variations in the degree of religiosity across countries translate into predictable differences in cross-country growth experiences? We apply a model averaging procedure to investigate the empirical robustness of linkages between religiosity and growth when other fundamental growth determinants, such as institutions, fractionalization, and geography, are simultaneously considered. Our results suggest that while religiosity variables such as belief in hell, belief in heaven, and monthly church attendance are potentially relevant to growth there is no evidence to suggest that they are either quantitatively significant or important.
    Keywords: Economic growth, Religion, Model Uncertainty
    JEL: O40 Z12 C59
  4. By: Chih Ming Tan
    Abstract: Do institutions “rule” when explaining cross-country divergence? This paper finds that to a large extent they do. However, the role of ethno-linguistic fractionalization cannot be ignored. Sufficiently high-quality institutions are necessary if the negative impact on development from high levels of ethno-linguistic fractionalization is to be mitigated. Interestingly, I find no role for geographic factors; neither those associated with climate nor geographic isolation, in explaining divergence. There is also no evidence to suggest a role for religious fractionalization. Finally, my findings affirm earlier work in the literature that sets apart Sub-Saharan Africa’s development process from the rest of the world.

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