nep-gro New Economics Papers
on Economic Growth
Issue of 2015‒07‒18
eight papers chosen by
Marc Klemp
Brown University

  1. "Land Productivity and Economic Development: Caloric Suitability vs. Agricultural Suitability" By Oded Galor; Omer Ozak
  2. Land Access Inequality and Education in Pre-industrial Spain By Francisco J.Beltrán Tapia; Julio Martínez-Galarraga
  3. The Economic Legacy of Warfare: Evidence from Urban Europe By Mark Dincecco; Massimiliano Gaetano Onorato
  4. Growth and non-regular employment By Hiroaki Miyamoto
  5. A framework for physical growth and child development: By Alderman, Harold; Behrman, Jere R.; Glewwe, Paul
  6. Patience and long-run growth By Hübner, Malte; Vannorrenberghe, Gonzague
  7. Effects on the Cross-Country Difference in the Minimum Wage on International Trade, Growth and Unemployment By Chihiro Inaba; Katsufumi Fukuda
  8. Are the log-growth rates of city sizes normally distributed? Empirical evidence for the US By Ramos, Arturo

  1. By: Oded Galor; Omer Ozak
    Abstract: This paper establishes that the Caloric Suitability Index (CSI) dominates the commonly used measure of agricultural suitability in the examination of the effect of land productivity on comparative economic development. The analysis demonstrates that the agricultural suitability index does not capture the large variation in the potential caloric yield across equally suitable land, reflecting the fact that land suitable for agriculture is not necessarily suitable for the most caloric-intensive crops. Hence, in light of the instrumental role played by caloric yield in sustaining and supporting population growth, and given importance of pre-industrial population density for the subsequent course of economic development, the Caloric Suitability Index dominates the conventional measure in capturing the effect of land productivity on pre-colonial population density and the subsequent course of economic development.
    Keywords: Caloric Suitability, Agricultural Suitability, Agricultural Productivity, Land Productivity, Economic Development, Population Density
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Francisco J.Beltrán Tapia (University of Cambridge); Julio Martínez-Galarraga (Universitat de València)
    Abstract: By collecting a large dataset in mid-19th century Spain, this paper contributes to the debate on institutions and economic development by examining the historical link between land access inequality and education. This paper analyses information from the 464 districts existent in 1860 and confirms that there is a negative relationship between the fraction of farm labourers and literacy rates. This result does not disappear when a large set of potential confounding factors are included in the analysis. The use of the Reconquest as a quasi-natural experiment allows us to rule out further concerns about potential endogeneity. Likewise, by employing data on schooling enrolment rates and number of teachers, this paper explores the mechanisms behind the observed relationship in order to ascertain to which extent demand or supply factors are responsible for it. Lastly, the gender composition of the data, which enables distinguishing between female and male literacy levels, together with boys and girls schooling enrolment rates, is also examined.
    Date: 2015–06–01
  3. By: Mark Dincecco (University of Michigan); Massimiliano Gaetano Onorato (IMT Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies)
    Abstract: We show new evidence that the economic legacy of historical warfare persists to the present. Warfare was a key feature of European history. We argue that cities were safe harbors from war threats. War-related urbanization, in turn, had positive consequences for long-run development. We geocode the locations of more than 600 conflicts fought in Europe between 1300 and 1799. To measure urban economic activity, we gather satellite image data on light intensity at night for more than 500 cities between 2000 and 2010. We find a positive, significant, and robust relationship between historical conflict exposure and urban economic activity today. We find that human capital formation and local political representation are two channels through which the consequences of historical warfare are transmitted through time. Our results highlight the military origins of Europe’s prosperous urban belt.
    Keywords: Warfare, Cities, Political and Economic Development, Europe
    JEL: C20 O10 N40 N90 P48 R11
    Date: 2015–07
  4. By: Hiroaki Miyamoto (University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: The share of non-regular employment has been increasing in many developed countries during the past two decades. The objective of this paper is to study a cause of the upward trend in non-regular employment by focusing on productivity growth. Data from Japan shows that productivity growth reduces both unemployment and the proportion of non-regular workers to total employed workers. In order to study the impact of long-run productivity growth on unemployment and non-regular employment, I develop a search and matching model with disembodied technological progress and two types of jobs, regular and non-regular jobs. The numerical analysis demonstrates that faster growth reduces the share of non-regular employment and the unemployment rate, which is consistent with empirical facts.
    Keywords: Growth, Unemployment, Non-regular employment, Search and matching model
    JEL: E24 J64 O40
    Date: 2015–07
  5. By: Alderman, Harold; Behrman, Jere R.; Glewwe, Paul
    Abstract: It is widely recognized that there is a continuum of physical growth and social-emotional and cognitive development across the life course, from the preconception health status of the mother through adulthood. This paper lays out a core economic model that illustrates the interrelationship of investments over the life cycle. It then shows how this framework can be used to the relative cost-effectiveness analysis and benefit-cost analysis of interventions during early childhood development with both physical growth and cognition as key outcomes.
    Keywords: nutrition, human nutrition, children, health, Human capital, child development,
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Hübner, Malte; Vannorrenberghe, Gonzague
    Abstract: Complementing research on the effect of patience on individual behavior, we present empirical evidence that patience is an important determinant of long-run income differences between countries. To account for a potential endogeneity bias, we instrument patience by information on how languages spoken in the countries of our sample require speakers to encode time. The economic impact of patience and growth is sizable. Our results suggest that increasing patience by one standard deviation raises per-capita income by between 34% and 78%.
    Keywords: long-run growth; time-preferences; patience
    JEL: D91 O47 Z13
    Date: 2015–06–20
  7. By: Chihiro Inaba (Department of Economics, Kobe University); Katsufumi Fukuda (Graduate School of Social Science, Hiroshima University, Japan and Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)
    Abstract: We construct a dynamic general-equilibrium North-South growth model with international trade with both homogenous and heterogeneous firms, endogenous northern economic growth, and unemployment. Unemployment is emerged from the imbalance between the endogenous labor supply and the firms' labor demand under binding the minimum wage policy. The north produces two goods, high-tech good and low-tech good, while the South produces only low-tech good by the scarcity of technology. Both goods are traded between the countries. The production of the high-tech good needs R&D activity for variety creation, which is a source of economic growth. In this setting, we analyze the southern policy change that increases the southern minimum wage, and show that the increase in the southern minimum wage affects the structure of international trade and the northern growth rate and unemployment.
    Date: 2015–07
  8. By: Ramos, Arturo
    Abstract: We study the decennial log-growth population rate distributions of the US incorporated places (resp., all places) for the period 1990-2000 (resp. 2000-2010) and the recently constructed US City Clustering Algorithm (CCA) population data in the period 1991-2000. It is obtained an excellent parametric description of these log-growth rates by means of a newly introduced distribution called “double mixture exponential Generalized Beta 2”. The normal distribution is not the one empirically observed for the same datasets.
    Keywords: urban log-growth rates distribution, exponential distribution, exponential Generalized Beta 2 distribution, US population log-growth rates
    JEL: C46 R11 R12
    Date: 2015–07–14

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