nep-gro New Economics Papers
on Economic Growth
Issue of 2015‒12‒01
ten papers chosen by
Marc Klemp
Brown University

  1. Time for growth By Lars Boerner; Battista Severgnini
  2. The first stages of the mortality transition in England:a perspective from evolutionary biology By Romola J. Davenport
  3. Immigrants and Gender Roles: Assimilation vs. Culture By Blau, Francine D.
  4. Roots of the Industrial Revolution By Kelly, Morgan; Mokyr, Joel; Grada, Cormac O
  5. Effects of Government Education and Health Expenditures on Economic Growth: A Meta-analysis By Awaworyi, Sefa; Yew, Siew Ling; Ugur, Mehmet
  6. Does government size affect per-capita income growth? A Hierarchical meta-regression analysis By Awaworyi, Sefa; Ugur, Mehmet; Yew, Siew Ling
  7. Population growth and structural transformation By Ho, Chi Pui
  8. The Nexus between Remittances and Economic Growth: Empirical Evidence from Guyana By Bollers, Elton; Pile, Dennis
  9. The effect of including the environment in the neoclassical growth model By Halkos, George; Psarianos, Iacovos

  1. By: Lars Boerner; Battista Severgnini
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of the early adoption of one of the most important high-technology machines in history, the public mechanical clock, on long-run growth in Europe. We avoid en- dogeneity by considering the relationship between the adoption of clocks with two sets of instru- ments: distance from the first adopters and the appearance of repeated solar eclipses. The latter instrument is motivated by the predecessor technologies of mechanical clocks, astronomic instru- ments that measured the course of heavenly bodies. We find significant growth rates between 1500 and 1700 in the range of 30 percentage points in early adoptor cities and areas.
    Keywords: technological adoption; cities; mechanical clocks; information technology
    JEL: N13 N93 O33
    Date: 2015–08–27
  2. By: Romola J. Davenport
    Abstract: This paper examines the origins of the Mortality Revolution from an evolutionary point of view, in terms of the trade-offs between virulence and disease transmission. For diseases that are transmitted person-to-person and cannot persist outside a host then there is evidence of strong selective pressure against high host lethality. However for pathogens which don’t depend on their human host for transmission or can persist outside a human host (including plague, typhus, smallpox and malaria) then the conflict between virulence and dispersal is reduced. Importantly, the properties that permitted these diseases to be so lethal also made it easier for relatively weak interventions to break the chain of disease transmission. The early control of these major diseases was associated with large reductions in mortality, but also shifted the distribution of causes of death towards the less virulent diseases of the extremes of age and of poverty.
    Keywords: demographic transition, mortality transition, evolutionary biology, smallpox, vaccination. JEL Classification: I14; I15; I18; N33; N93
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Blau, Francine D. (Cornell University)
    Abstract: This paper examines evidence on the role of assimilation versus source country culture in influencing immigrant women's behavior in the United States – looking both over time with immigrants' residence in the United States and across immigrant generations. It focuses particularly on labor supply but, for the second generation, also examines fertility and education. We find considerable evidence that immigrant source country gender roles influence immigrant and second generation women's behavior in the United States. This conclusion is robust to various efforts to rule out the effect of other unobservables and to distinguish the effect of culture from that of social capital. These results support a growing literature that suggests that culture matters for economic behavior. At the same time, the results suggest considerable evidence of assimilation of immigrants. Immigrant women narrow the labor supply gap with native‐born women with time in the United States, and, while our results suggest an important role for intergenerational transmission, they also indicate considerable convergence of immigrants to native levels of schooling, fertility, and labor supply across generations.
    Keywords: gender, immigration, labor supply, wages, social capital, culture, human capital
    JEL: J13 J16 J22 J24 J61
    Date: 2015–11
  4. By: Kelly, Morgan (University College Dublin); Mokyr, Joel (Northwestern University); Grada, Cormac O (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: We analyze factors explaining the very di.erent patterns of industrialization across the 42 counties of England between 1760 and 1830. Against the widespread view that high wages and cheap coal drove industrialization, we find that industrialization was restricted to low wage areas, while energy availability (coal or water) had little impact. Instead we find that industrialization can largely be explained by two related factors related to the human capability of the labour force. Instead of being composed of landless labourers, successful industrializers had large numbers of small farms, which are associated with better nutrition and height. Secondly, industrializing counties had a high density of population relative to agricultural land, indicating extensive rural industrial activity: counties that were already reliant on small scale industry, with the technical and entrepreneurial skills this generated, experienced the strongest industrial growth. Looking at 1830s France we find that the strongest predictor of industrialization again is quality of workers shown by height of the population, although market access and availability of water power were also important there.
    Keywords: JEL Classification:
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Awaworyi, Sefa; Yew, Siew Ling; Ugur, Mehmet
    Abstract: Using a sample of 306 estimates drawn from 31 primary studies, this paper conducts an empirical synthesis of the link between economic growth and government expenditure on education or health using meta-analysis. We also explain the heterogeneity in empirical results. We find that the effect of government education expenditure on growth is positive, whereas the growth effect of government health expenditure is negative. Our meta-regression analysis suggests that factors such as econometric specifications, publication characteristics as well as data characteristics explain the heterogeneity in the literature. We also find no evidence of publication selectivity.
    Keywords: Government education expenditure; government health expenditure; human capital; economic growth
    JEL: E6 E62 H5 H51 H52
    Date: 2015–04–11
  6. By: Awaworyi, Sefa; Ugur, Mehmet; Yew, Siew Ling
    Abstract: We conduct a hierarchical meta-regression analysis to review 87 empirical studies that report 769 estimates for the effects of government size on economic growth. We follow best-practice recommendations for meta-analysis of economics research, and address issues of publication selection bias and heterogeneity. When size is measured as the ratio of total government expenditures to GDP, the partial correlation between government size and per-capita GDP growth is negative in developed countries, but insignificant in developing countries. When size is measured as the ratio of consumption expenditures to GDP, the partial correlation is negative in both developed and developing countries, but the effect in developing countries is less adverse. We also report that government size is associated with less adverse effects when primary studies control for endogeneity and are published in journals and more recently, but it is associated with more adverse effects when primary studies use cross-section data. Our findings indicate that the relationship between government size and per-capita GDP growth is context-specific and likely to be biased due to endogeneity between the level of per-capita income and government expenditures.
    Keywords: Economic growth, Government size, Government expenditure, Government consumption, Meta-analysis, Evidence synthesis
    JEL: E62 H5 O4
    Date: 2015–08–10
  7. By: Ho, Chi Pui
    Abstract: Population growth induces structural transformation. We posit two-sector growth models where land is a fixed production factor. When two sectoral goods are consumption complements, population growth pushes production factors towards the sector with stronger diminishing returns to labor through the relative price effect. We clarify conditions when production factors “embrace the land” and “escape from land” throughout development, and the models’ asymptotic growth paths. We calibrate the models to simulate sectoral shifts in pre-industrial England and modern United States. In both cases, relying solely on relative price effects (population growth, technological progress and capital deepening) predicts too slow structural transformation.
    Keywords: Structural transformation; Population growth effect; Relative price effects
    JEL: E1 N1 O5
    Date: 2015–11–19
  8. By: Bollers, Elton; Pile, Dennis
    Abstract: Remittances to developing countries generally arrive in large volumes, and Guyana is no exception. One important policy concern is the impact of remittances on economic growth. This paper explores the empirical impact of remittances on economic growth in Guyana using time series data from 1993 to 2013. Recorded remittances inflow to Guyana in 2014 amounted to 329.7 million dollars (approximately 12% of GDP). The model used by Karagoz (2009) was adopted to conduct this study. The results indicate that remittances positively impact economic growth. It was also found that foreign direct investment positively impacts growth.
    Keywords: Guyana, Economic Growth, Remittances, Foreign Direct Investment.
    JEL: C13 O47
    Date: 2015–11–27
  9. By: Halkos, George; Psarianos, Iacovos
    Abstract: This study begins with an exposition of basic principles of the theory of Optimal Control as this is used in the development of the theory of Economic Growth. Then, a brief presentation of the Neoclassical Model of Economic Growth follows and two applications are presented. In the first, optimal control techniques are used, in the context of neoclassical growth, to maximize the representative household’s total intertemporal welfare. In the second, the same problem is posed with two additional variables that affect welfare in opposing ways: pollution and abatement expenditures. In both applications, the optimal steady-state conditions are derived. This allows for a preliminary comparison of the resulting balanced growth paths under the criterion of welfare maximization with and without environmental externalities. Finally, using a balanced panel data of 43 countries and for the time period 1990-2011 we test the validity of including the environment in the neoclassical growth model approximating pollution abatement with the electricity production from renewable sources and pollution with carbon dioxide emissions. With the help of adequate econometric panel data methods we test the validity of the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis for the full sample, as well as for the OECD and non-OECD countries
    Keywords: Economic Growth; Physical Capital; Technological Progress; Environment; Pollution.
    JEL: C60 C61 C62 O41 O44 Q56 Q58
    Date: 2015–11–24
  10. By: Jihan SHANABLI (Romanian Academy - National Institute of Economic Research, Bucharest, Romania)
    Abstract: The paper constitutes a contribution to the research area dedicated to the relationship between political regimes and economic growth. The main focus will be on the way politics influences the economic evolution and development of a country. The premise is that political institutions play an essential role due to the fact that they have the potential to relax the constraints imposed over the economic structure and not only. The three basic dimensions used in constructing the paper are the degree of political freedom, the level of political stability and the level of political security.
    Keywords: economic growth, political regime, political business cycles
    JEL: H11 E32
    Date: 2014–01

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