nep-gro New Economics Papers
on Economic Growth
Issue of 2016‒07‒02
thirteen papers chosen by
Marc Klemp
Brown University

  1. Ancestry and Development: New Evidence By Enrico Spolaore; Romain Wacziarg
  2. The long-run impact of human capital on innovation and economic development in the regions of Europe. By Claude Diebolt; Ralph Hippe
  3. Regional human capital inequality in Europe in the long run, 1850 – 2010. By Claude Diebolt; Ralph Hippe
  4. The Resource Curse Hypothesis Revisited: Evidence from a Panel VAR By Antonakakis, Nikolaos; Cunado, Juncal; Filis, George; Perez de Gracia, Fernando
  5. Backwardness, Industrialisation and Economic Development in Europe By Amat Adarov; Mario Holzner; Luka Sikic
  6. Demographic Transition and the Unobservable Scale Effects of Economic Growth By Kaixing Huang
  7. Growth Theory and Growth Accounting: Reformulating Our Understanding of Growth By Gary Jefferson
  8. Terms of Trade Volatility, Government Spending Cyclicality, and Economic Growth By Markus Brueckner; Francisco Carneiro
  9. Introducing Railway Time in the Balkans: Economic effects of railway construction in Southeast Europe and beyond since the early 19th century until present days By Eduard Alvarez; Mario Holzner; Stefan Jestl; Jordi Marti-Henneberg
  10. Minimum Wage, Economic Growth and Preference for Consumption By Minoru Watanabe
  11. Economic growth and agricultural land conversion under uncertain productivity improvements in agriculture By Bruno Lanz; Simon Dietz; Timothy Swanson
  12. Air traffic and economic growth: the case of developing countries By François Bourguignon; Pierre-Emmanuel Darpeix
  13. Does microfinance affect economic growth? Evidence from Bangladesh based on ARDL approach By Sultan, Yousuf; Masih, Mansur

  1. By: Enrico Spolaore; Romain Wacziarg
    Abstract: We revisit the relation between ancestral distance and barriers to the diffusion of development using a new genomic dataset on human microsatellite variation. With these new data we find a statistically and economic significant effect of ancestral distance from the technological frontier on income per capita, controlling for geographic factors, climatic differences, continental fixed effects and genetic diversity within populations. The historical pattern of the effect is hump shaped, peaking between 1870 and 1913, and declining steeply afterwards. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that ancestral distance acts as a temporary barrier to the diffusion of innovations and development.
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Claude Diebolt; Ralph Hippe
    Abstract: Human capital is supposed to be an important factor for innovation and economic development. However, the long-run impact of human capital on current innovation and economic development is still a black box, in particular at the regional level. Therefore, this paper makes the link between the past and the present. Using a large new dataset on regional human capital and other factors in the 19th and 20th century, we find that past regional human capital is a key factor explaining current regional disparities in innovation and economic development.
    Keywords: Human Capital, Economic Development, Innovation, Regions, Europe.
    JEL: I25 N90 O18 R11
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Claude Diebolt; Ralph Hippe
    Abstract: Human capital is an important factor for economic and social development, as has been underlined by recent theoretical models. A range of contributions has focused on the international evolution of human capital over the last decades and beyond. However, the regional dimension of human capital in Europe remains insufficiently explored, particularly in a long-run perspective. For this reason, this paper addresses this gap in the literature and highlights the regional evolution of human capital in Europe between 1850 and 2010 by using numeracy, literacy and educational attainment proxies. The results show that intranational inequalities in human capital have always been important and are in a number of cases more important than international differences.
    Keywords: Human Capital, Regional Development, Inequality, Europe.
    JEL: N33 N93 O18
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Antonakakis, Nikolaos; Cunado, Juncal; Filis, George; Perez de Gracia, Fernando
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to revisit the resource curse hypothesis both within and between countries of different democratic footprint, based on a dynamic model that properly accounts for endogeneity issues. To achieve that, we apply a panel Vector Auto-Regressive (PVAR) approach along with panel impulse response functions to data on oil abundance variables, economic growth and several political institutional variables in 76 countries classified by different income groupings, level of development and oil importing or exporting status, over the period 1980-2012. Our results suggest that controlling for the quality of political institutions is important in rendering the resource course hypothesis significant. Doing so, the resource curse hypothesis is documented mainly for developing economies, net oil-exporters and medium-high income countries. Specifically, when economies from the aforementioned groups are characterised by weak quality of political institutions, then oil abundance is not growth-enhancing.
    Keywords: Resource curse, Oil abundance, Economic growth, Institutions, Panel VAR.
    JEL: C33 O47 Q32 Q33 Q34
    Date: 2015–12–15
  5. By: Amat Adarov (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Mario Holzner (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Luka Sikic
    Abstract: Abstract The present work uses long-term economic development data (1952-2010) as well as a detailed industry-level panel data (1963-2011) to analyse industrialisation patterns in Europe, implications of economic backwardness and the role of European integration in facilitating industrialisation and development. We find evidence of some income convergence in Europe, but mostly in countries that were able to exploit the ‘advantages of (mild) backwardness’. Regions of extensive backwardness such as the Balkans had difficulties to catch up. Membership in the European Union helped especially more backward economies to develop faster.
    Keywords: Economic development, economic growth, industrialisation, urbanisation
    JEL: O14 O18 O43 O47
    Date: 2016–06
  6. By: Kaixing Huang (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)
    Abstract: Idea-based growth models usually predict that economic growth rates are increasing with the level or growth rate of the population. This scale effect prediction is intuitive and derived directly from the nonrivalry of ideas. However, time-series data over the last century generally did not support this scale effect prediction. This article illustrates why scale effects were unobservable. A modified idea-based model shows that economic growth rates increase with investments in human capital accumulation and population growth rates. The offsetting movements of these two factors during the demographic transition of the last century obscured the scale effects.
    Keywords: Economic growth, scale effects, human capital, population, demographic transition
    JEL: E27 O40
    Date: 2016–06
  7. By: Gary Jefferson (Brandeis University)
    Abstract: This paper seeks to address shortcomings in the growth literature – neoclassical growth theory and growth accounting. Specifically, the paper reformulates our understanding of the process of technical change, so that we view Hicks- and Harrod-neutral technical change as consistent, inseparable phenomena within a unified growth process. With this integrated Hicks-Harrod paradigm, the paper then: (i) reinterprets the steady state condition thereby clarifying the circumstances under which s, n, and δ are admissible, whereas g should be excluded, (ii) introduces the technology multiplier, which helps to restore technical change to its place as a public good, while creating new country-specific avenues for endogenous growth, (iii) opens a window for examining historic turning points in the growth experience, and (iv) introduces the Harrod-based accounting function thereby enabling the reconciliation and integration of growth theory and growth accounting. These reformulations substantially expand the boundaries of the neoclassical growth model to explore new avenues of growth that may be sufficient to explain the observed disparities in living standards across nations.
    Date: 2016–05
  8. By: Markus Brueckner; Francisco Carneiro
    Abstract: This paper presents estimates of the effects that terms of trade volatility has on real GDP per capita growth. Based on 5-year non-overlapping panel data comprising 175 countries during 1980-2010, the paper finds that terms of trade volatility has significant adverse effects on economic growth in countries with procyclical government spending; in countries where government spending is countercyclical terms of trade volatility has no significant effect on growth. Conditional on the mediating role of government spending cyclicality, the GDP share of domestic credit to the private sector has no significant effect on the relationship between growth and terms of trade volatility.
    Date: 2016–06
  9. By: Eduard Alvarez; Mario Holzner (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Stefan Jestl (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Jordi Marti-Henneberg
    Abstract: Abstract In this paper we analyse the economic effects of railway infrastructure at the national level for European countries as well as at the local level for Southeast European cities based on a novel railway database capturing decades of the 19th century up to the early 21th century. A panel fixed effects regression analysis at the country level indicates a positive economic impact emanating from railway infrastructure, whereby the effect appears to be even stronger for less developed Southeast European countries. In addition, a linear spatially augmented multilevel model at the city level sheds light on the positive effects resulting from railway infrastructure on urban development. Its positive spillover effects occur within countries as well as across borders.
    Keywords: Railway, infrastructure, Balkans, Southeast Europe, backwardness, urban development, economic development, railway accessibility, infrastructural spillovers, multilevel model, historical analysis
    JEL: L92 N13 N14 N73 N74 N93 N94 O18 O47 R11 R41
    Date: 2016–05
  10. By: Minoru Watanabe (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Kyoto Gakuin University)
    Abstract: We build a simple overlapping generations model with minimum wage. Many eariler papers do not enough consider household fs preference in the context of minimum wage and ecoomic growth under a dynamic framework Therefore our study focus on the household fs preference for consumption. Results show whether an increase in minimum wage promotes economic growth or not depends on the preference for consumption.
    Keywords: Minimum wage: Unemployment: Economic growth
    JEL: E24 J31 O40
    Date: 2016–06
  11. By: Bruno Lanz; Simon Dietz; Timothy Swanson
    Abstract: We study how stochasticity in the evolution of agricultural productivity interacts with economic and population growth, and the associated demand for food. We use a two-sector Schumpeterian model of growth, in which a manufacturing sector produces the traditional consumption good and an agricultural sector produces food to sustain contemporary population. In addition, sectors differ in that agriculture also demands land as an input, itself treated as a scarce form of capital. In our model both population and sectoral technological progress are endogenously determined, and key technological parameters of the model are structurally estimated using 1960-2010 data on world GDP, population, cropland and technological progress. Introducing random shocks to the evolution of total factor productivity in agriculture, we show that uncertainty optimally requires more land to be converted into agricultural use as a hedge against production shortages, and that it significantly affects both consumption and population trajectories.
    Keywords: Economic growth; Stochastic control; Agricultural productivity; Endogenous innovations; Land conversion; Population dynamics; Food security.
    JEL: O11 O13 O31 J11 C61 Q16 Q24
    Date: 2016–06–03
  12. By: François Bourguignon (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), PSE - Paris School of Economics); Pierre-Emmanuel Darpeix (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC))
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between air traffic and economic growth in various developing regions and compares it with an “enduring industry fact” of an elasticity around 2 for the developed world. The analysis is conducted from two distinct databases, both with regional aggregates and with country-level ECM estimations. We conclude that there does not seem to be substantial differences in elasticities across the various regions and we show that the introduction of autonomous country-specific time trends leads to a substantial reduction of elasticity estimates.
    Keywords: Air transportation,panel cointegration,error correction model,GDP-elasticities,development
    Date: 2016–06
  13. By: Sultan, Yousuf; Masih, Mansur
    Abstract: Microfinance, a tool for providing improved access to finance (i.e. deposits, loans, payment services, money transfers and insurance etc.) to the unbanked population of a country, may have impact on domestic economic growth according to some literature. However, according to others, microcredits are just means to exploit the poor, by charging higher interest rates and cost of loans, thus making the poor poorer and the rich richer. The present study intends to empirically test the theoretical relationship between microfinance and the economic growth. It examines whether there is any cointegration among microfinance, growth and other macroeconomic variables. And if there is any, whether there is a lead-lag relationship between microfinance and growth, and which leads the other. The study is carried out using a time series technique ‘Auto-Regressive Distributive Lag (ARDL)’, based on annual data from years 1983-2013. It is the first attempt, in our knowledge, to test micromacro relationship based on annual time series data from Bangladesh, the founding country of microfinance. Our findings tend to indicate that: (i) There is significant impact of microfinance on domestic growth (GDP). (ii) Growth also has strong relationship with microfinance. This implies that there is bi-directional relationship between microfinance and growth and that microfinance is an important “ingredient” in promoting growth through various channels. The results suggest that microfinance institutions should be supported and promoted by ensuring proper legal and regulatory policies, frameworks and institutions. Islamic microfinance should be allowed to flourish, incorporating qard al-hasan, sadaqah, zakah and waqf models along with others to alleviate poverty.
    Keywords: microfinance, economic growth, financial development, ARDL
    JEL: C22 C58 G21 O47
    Date: 2016–06–18

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