nep-gro New Economics Papers
on Economic Growth
Issue of 2014‒08‒20
fifteen papers chosen by
Marc Patrick Brag Klemp
Brown University

  1. "The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference" By Oded Galor; Omer Ozak
  2. Rainfall Risk and Religious Membership in the Late Nineteenth-Century United States By Ager, Philipp; Ciccone, Antonio
  3. Family Structure and the Education Gender Gap: Evidence from Italian Provinces By Bertocchi, Graziella; Bozzano, Monica
  4. Coal Mining and the Resource Curse in the Eastern United States By Stratford Douglas; Anne Walker
  5. An Examination of Sub-National Growth in Nigeria: 1999 - 2012 By Nonso Obikili
  6. Economic inequality in northwestern Italy: A long-term view (fourteenth to eighteenth centuries) By Guido Alfani
  7. Productivity Growth in Goods and Services Across The Heterogeneous States of America By Areendam Chanda; Bibhudutta Panda
  8. Global Population Growth, Technology and Malthusian Constraints: A Quantitative Growth Theoretic Perspective By Bruno Lanz; Simon Dietz; Tim Swanson
  9. Fertility in the absence of self-control By Bertrand Wigniolle
  10. Knowledge spillovers, ICT and productivity growth By Haskel, J; Corrado, C; Jona-Lasinio, C
  11. Aggregate Fertility and Household Savings: A General Equilibrium Analysis using Micro Data By Abhijit Banerjee; Xin Meng; Tommaso Porzio; Nancy Qian
  12. Existence and efficiency of stationary states in a renewable resource based OLG model with different harvest costs By Birgit Bednar–Friedl; Karl Farmer
  13. The effect of land fragmentation on labor allocation and the economic diversity of farm households: The case of Vietnam By Nguyen, Huy
  14. Debt, Growth and Natural Disasters A Caribbean Trilogy By Sebastian Acevedo Mejia
  15. Debt and economic growth in the European Union: what causes what? By Cândida Ferreira

  1. By: Oded Galor; Omer Ozak
    Abstract: This research explores the origins of the distribution of time preference across regions. It advances the hypothesis, and establishes empirically, that geographical variations in the incentives to delay consumption in favor of lucrative investment opportunities have had a persistent effect on the distribution of long-term orientation across societies. In particular, exploiting a natural experiment associated with the Columbian Exchange, the research establishes that agro-climatic characteristics in the pre-industrial era that were conducive to higher return to agricultural investment, triggered selection and learning processes that had a persistent positive effect on the prevalence of long-term orientation in the contemporary era.
    Keywords: Time preference, Delayed Gratiffcation, Culture, Agriculture, Economic Development, Evolution
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Ager, Philipp; Ciccone, Antonio
    Abstract: Building on the idea that religious communities provide mutual insurance against some idiosyncratic risks, we argue that religious membership is more valuable in societies exposed to greater common risk. In our empirical analysis we exploit rainfall risk as a source of common economic risk in the nineteenth-century United States and show that religious communities were larger in counties where they faced greater rainfall risk. The link between rainfall risk and the size of religious communities is stronger in counties that were more agricultural, that had lower population densities, or that were exposed to greater rainfall risk during the growing season.
    Keywords: Religious community size , agricultural risk , informal insurance
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Bertocchi, Graziella (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia); Bozzano, Monica (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)
    Abstract: We investigate the determinants of the education gender gap in Italy in historical perspective with a focus on the influence of family structure. We capture the latter with two indicators: residential habits (nuclear vs. complex families) and inheritance rules (partition vs. primogeniture). After controlling for economic, institutional, religious, and cultural factors, we find that over the 1861-1901 period family structure is a driver of the education gender gap, with a higher female to male enrollment rate ratio in upper primary schools being associated with nuclear residential habits and equal partition of inheritance. We also find that only the effect of inheritance rules persists over the 1971-2001 period.
    Keywords: education gender gap, Italian Unification, family types, inheritance, institutions, religion, convergence
    JEL: E02 H75 I25 J16 N33 O15
    Date: 2014–07
  4. By: Stratford Douglas (West Virginia University, College of Business and Economics); Anne Walker (University of Colorado at Denver, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: We measure the effect of resource sector dependence on long run income growth using the natural experiment of variation in coal endowments in a set of 409 relatively U.S. counties selected for homogeneity. Using a panel data set that extends over two separate boom and bust cycles (1970-2010), we find that coal dependence significantly reduces growth of per capita county income over the long run. These estimates indicate that a one standard deviation increase in the measure of resource intensity results in an estimated 0.7 percentage point drop in average annual growth rates. We also measure the extent to which the Appalachian coal resource curse operates by providing disincentives to education, and find that the education channel explains only about 15% to 40% of the curse.
    Keywords: Resource Curse, Natural Resources, Economic Growth
    JEL: Q32 Q33 O40 R11
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Nonso Obikili
    Abstract: I use satellite imagery on night time lights to measure growth across states and local government areas in Nigeria since the return of democracy in 1999. I show that states in Southern Nigeria have grown faster on average than states in the North. I also evaluate the effects of violence on growth in Plateau, Yobe and Borno states. I find that the crisis in Plateau state has resulted in slower growth compared to other states in the region. I also show that Yobe and Borno states had performed worse than other states in the North even before the outbreak of violence related to the Boko Haram sect. Finally using OLS I estimate a relationship between change in night lights and real GDP growth in Africa. I then use the coefficients to estimate GDP growth for states and local government areas in Nigeria over the period.
    Keywords: Measurement of Economic Growth, Africa, Nigeria
    JEL: O47 O55
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Guido Alfani
    Abstract: This article provides a comprehensive picture of economic inequality in northwestern Italy (Piedmont), focusing on the long-term developments occurring from 1300 to 1800 ca. Regional studies of this kind are rare, and none of them has as long a timescale. The new data proposed illuminate many little-known aspects of wealth distribution and general economic inequality in preindustrial times, and support the idea that during the Early Modern period, inequality grew everywhere: both in cities and in rural areas, and independently from whether the economy was growing or stagnating. This finding challenges earlier views that explained inequality growth as the consequence of economic development. The importance of demographic processes affecting inequality is underlined, and the impact of severe mortality crises, like the Black Death, is analyzed.
    Keywords: Economic inequality, social inequality, wealth concentration, middle ages, early modern period, Piedmont, Sabaudian States, Italy, plague, Black Death
    Date: 2014–03
  7. By: Areendam Chanda; Bibhudutta Panda
    Abstract: In this paper, we compare the relative roles of multi-factor productivity (MFP) growth and factor accumulation in goods and services for states in the US from 1980 to 2007 using the dual growth accounting framework. We find that while MFP growth was relatively high, and converged in the goods sector, it was low and diverged in services. Though the low growth in MFP in services was due to declining real user cost, the divergence itself was due to variation in wage growth. We also document that while the gap between productivity and wage growth was higher in goods, the two series were more strongly correlated in services. Finally, states with higher initial human capital experienced higher growth in both sectors.
  8. By: Bruno Lanz; Simon Dietz; Tim Swanson (Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: We study the interactions between global population, technological progress, per capita income, the demand for food, and agricultural land expansion over the period 1960 to 2100. We formulate a two-sector Schumpeterian growth model with a Barro-Becker representation of endogenous fertility. A manufacturing sector provides a consumption good and an agricultural sector provides food to sustain contemporaneous population. Total land area available for agricultural production is finite, and the marginal cost of agricultural land conversion is increasing with the amount of land already converted, creating a potential constraint to population growth. Using 1960 to 2010 data on world population, GDP, total factor productivity growth and crop land area, we structurally estimate the parameters determining the cost of fertility, technological progress and land conversion. The model closely fits observed trajectories, and we employ the model to make projections from 2010 to 2100. Our results suggest a population slightly below 10 billion by 2050, further growing to 12 billion by 2100. As population and per capita income grow, the demand for agricultural output increases by almost 70% in 2050 relative to 2010. However, agricultural land area stabilizes by 2050 at roughly 10 percent above the 2010 level: growth in agricultural output mainly relies on technological progress and capital accumulation.
    Keywords: Economic growth; Population projections; Technological progress; Endogenous fertility; Endogenous innovations; Land conversion; Food security
    JEL: O11 O13 J11 C53 C61 Q15 Q24
    Date: 2014–06–01
  9. By: Bertrand Wigniolle (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: This paper studies the quantity-quality trade-off model of fertility, under the assumption of hyperbolic discounting. It shows that the lack of self-control may play a different role in a developed economy and in a developing one. In the first case, characterized by a positive investment in quality, the lack of self-control may tend to reduce fertility. In the second case, it is possible that the lack of self-control leads to both no investment in quality and a higher fertility rate. It is also proved that if parents cannot commit on their investment in quality, a small change of parameters may lead to a jump in fertility and education.
    Keywords: endogenous fertility; quasi-hyperbolic discounting
    Date: 2013–07
  10. By: Haskel, J; Corrado, C; Jona-Lasinio, C
    Date: 2014–07–21
  11. By: Abhijit Banerjee; Xin Meng; Tommaso Porzio; Nancy Qian
    Abstract: This study uses micro data and an overlapping generations (OLG) model to show that general equilibrium (GE) forces are critical for understanding the relationship between aggregate fertility and household savings. First, we document that parents perceive children as an important source of old-age support and that, in partial equilibrium (PE), increased fertility lowers household savings. Then, we construct an OLG model that parametrically matches the PE empirical evidence. Finally, we extend the model to conduct a GE analysis and show that under standard assumptions and with the parameters implied by the data, GE forces can substantially offset the PE effects. Thus, focusing only on the PE can substantially overstate the effect of aggregate fertility on household savings.
    JEL: J11 J13 O11 O12 O4 O53
    Date: 2014–04
  12. By: Birgit Bednar–Friedl (University of Graz); Karl Farmer (University of Graz)
    Abstract: Harvest costs can reduce the incentive to overexploit a renewable resource stock, particularly when costs are stock dependent. This paper compares different types of harvest costs in a renewable resource based overlapping generations (OLG) model in which resource harvest competes with commodity production for labor. We analyze under which conditions a stationary state market equilibrium exists and whether this equilibrium is intergenerationally efficient. We find that stock dependent harvest costs favor the existence of an equilibrium and that a positive own rate of return on the resource stock is no longer necessary for intergenerational efficiency. Whether constant or inversely stock dependent, harvest cost in general equilibrium necessitate the inquiry of a positive resource stock price to ensure the existence of a stationary state market equilibrium.
    Keywords: natural resources; harvest costs; overlapping generations; existence; efficiency
    JEL: Q20 D90 C62
    Date: 2014–07
  13. By: Nguyen, Huy
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impacts of land fragmentation on economic diversity of farm households in Vietnam. To develop the empirical analysis, a model is presented in which the estimated impact of land fragmentation on economic diversification allows for non-neutral technical change. The paper tests the theoretical predictions of this model by providing empirical evidence of the impact of land fragmentation on farm and nonfarm outcomes such as labour supply, profits, labour intensity and productivity. By using different methods aimed at verifying and checking the consistency of the results, we find that land consolidation may reduce farm labour supply, labour intensity, and improve farm profits and productivity. Similarly, it may release more farm labour to nonfarm sectors and increase nonfarm profits. The empirical results also show that factor-biased technical change plays an important role in explaining the impact of agricultural technical change on economic diversification in Vietnam.
    Keywords: Agricultural technical change, land fragmentation, land consolidation, labour allocation, and elasticity of substitution, nonfarm sectors, and economic diversification
    JEL: D13 J2 Q15
    Date: 2014–07–29
  14. By: Sebastian Acevedo Mejia
    Abstract: This paper seeks to determine the effects that natural disasters have on per capita GDP and on the debt to GDP ratio in the Caribbean. Two types of natural disasters are studied –storms and floods– given their prevalence in the region, while considering the effects of both moderate and severe disasters. I use a vector autoregressive model with exogenous natural disasters shocks, in a panel of 12 Caribbean countries over a period of 40 years. The results show that both storms and floods have a negative effect on growth, and that debt increases with floods but not with storms. However, in a subsample I find that storms significantly increase debt in the short and long run. I also find weak evidence that debt relief contributes to ease the negative effects of storms on debt.
    Keywords: Debt and growth;Caribbean;Gross domestic product;Public debt;Official development assistance;Debt relief;Econometric models;Panel VAR with exogenous variables, natural disasters, growth, debt, Caribbean.
    Date: 2014–07–16
  15. By: Cândida Ferreira
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the empirical investigation of the causality relations between real GDP growth and the growth of three debt categories, namely public, foreign and private debt, in the universe of the 28 European Union countries during the past decade. By using panel Granger causality estimations, we find nonstatistically significant causality between foreign debt and economic growth and the limited importance of the causality between private debt and real GDP growth. On the contrary, the results obtained show statistically relevant bidirectional causality relations between public debt and economic growth, and this is true before and after the outbreak of the recent financial crisis. Moreover, there is clear evidence of economic growth’s contribution to the decrease in public debt.
    Date: 2014–05

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