nep-gro New Economics Papers
on Economic Growth
Issue of 2017‒08‒13
nine papers chosen by
Marc Klemp
Brown University

  1. Understanding Cultural Persistence and Change By Giuliano, Paola; Nunn, Nathan
  2. Inequality, Crime, and the Long Run Legacy of Slavery By Buonnano, Paolo; Vargas, Juan F.
  3. Resistance to Institutions and Cultural Distance: Brigandage in Post-Unification Italy By Giampaolo Lecce; Laura Ogliari; Tommaso Orlando
  4. Segregation and Fertility: The Case of the Roma in Serbia By Battaglia, Marianna; Chabé-Ferret, Bastien; Lebedinski, Lara
  5. Gender: An Historical Perspective By Giuliano, Paola
  6. The Impact of Sectorial FDI on Economic Growth in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe By Mite Miteski; Dijana Janevska Stefanova
  7. Government Size, Political Institutions and Output Growth in Nigeria By Fasoranti, Modupe Mary; Alimi, Rasaq Santos
  8. Public Investment and Golden Rule of Public Finance in an Overlapping Generations Model By Akira Kamiguchi; Toshiki Tamai
  9. Comparative Determinants of Quality of Growth in Developing Countries By Asongu, Simplice; Asongu, Ndemaze

  1. By: Giuliano, Paola (University of California, Los Angeles); Nunn, Nathan (Harvard University)
    Abstract: When does culture persist and when does it change? We examine a determinant that has been put forth in the anthropology literature: the variability of the environment from one generation to the next. A prediction, which emerges from a class of existing models from evolutionary anthropology, is that following the customs of the previous generation is relatively more beneficial in stable environments where the culture that has evolved up to the previous generation is more likely to be relevant for the subsequent generation. We test this hypothesis by measuring the variability of average temperature across 20-year generations from 500–1900. Looking across countries, ethnic groups, and the descendants of immigrants, we find that populations with ancestors who lived in environments with more stability from one generation to the next place a greater importance in maintaining tradition today. These populations also exhibit more persistence in their traditions over time.
    Keywords: cultural persistence, cultural change, tradition
    JEL: N10 Q54
    Date: 2017–07
  2. By: Buonnano, Paolo; Vargas, Juan F.
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between economic inequality and crime in Colombian municipalities. Following recent scholarly research that suggests that the legacy of slavery is largely manifest in persistent levels of economic inequality, we instrument economic inequality with a census-based measure of the proportion of slaves in each municipality before the abolition of slavery in the 19 century. We also explore the robustness of our estimates to relaxing the exclusion restriction, as the slavery instrument is only plausibly exogenous. We document a strong association between inequality and both violent and property crime rates at the municipal level. Our estimates are robust to including traditional determinants of crime (like population density, the proportion of young males, the average education level, the quality of law enforcement institutions, and the overall economic activity), as well as current ethnic differences and geographic characteristics that may be correlated both with the slave economy and with crime.
    Keywords: Educación, Economía, Equidad e inclusión social, Investigación socioeconómica, Pobreza, Seguridad,
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Giampaolo Lecce (Bocconi University - Department of Economics); Laura Ogliari (Bocconi University); Tommaso Orlando (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: We study how cultural distance affects the rejection of imposed institutions. To this purpose, we exploit the transplantation of Piedmontese institutions on Southern Italy which occurred during the Italian unification. We assemble a novel and unique dataset containing information on episodes of brigandage, a form of violent uprising against the unitary government, at the municipal level. We use geographic distance from local settlements of Piedmontese descent as a proxy for cultural distance between each municipality and the new rulers. We find robust evidence that cultural distance from the origins of the transplanted institutions is significantly associated with more intense resistance to these institutions. Our results further suggest that the rejection of the transplanted institutions may have a long lasting effect on political participation.
    Keywords: Institutions, Institutional Transplantations, Culture, Social Unrest, Electoral Turnout
    JEL: N43 D74 P16 Z10
    Date: 2017–08
  4. By: Battaglia, Marianna (Universidad de Alicante); Chabé-Ferret, Bastien (Université catholique de Louvain); Lebedinski, Lara (Foundation for the Advancement of Economics (FREN))
    Abstract: We study the effect of residential segregation on fertility for the socially excluded and marginalized Roma ethnic minority. Using original survey data we collected in Serbia, we investigate whether fertility differs between ethnically homogeneous and mixed neighbor- hoods. Our results show that Roma in less segregated areas tend to have significantly fewer children (around 0.9). Most of the difference arises from Roma in less segregated areas waiting substantially more after having a boy than their counterparts in more segregated areas. We account for the endogeneity of the level of segregation using (il)legal possibility to build in the area at the time of its creation as an instrument. We find that the true gap due to segregation is actually larger than that estimated by OLS (around 1.4). We finally provide evidence that exposure to the Serbian majority culture is the main mechanism at play, as opposed to differences in opportunity cost of time, migration patterns, family arrangements and returns to education.
    Keywords: fertility, residential segregation, ethnic minority, culture
    JEL: J13 J15 R23 Z10
    Date: 2017–07
  5. By: Giuliano, Paola (University of California, Los Angeles)
    Abstract: Social attitudes toward women vary significantly across societies. This chapter reviews recent empirical research on various historical determinants of contemporary differences in gender roles and gender gaps across societies, and how these differences are transmitted from parents to children and therefore persist until today. We review work on the historical origin of differences in female labor-force participation, fertility, education, marriage arrangements, competitive attitudes, domestic violence, and other forms of difference in gender norms. Most of the research illustrates that differences in cultural norms regarding gender roles emerge in response to specific historical situations, but tend to persist even after the historical conditions have changed. We also discuss the conditions under which gender norms either tend to be stable or change more quickly.
    Keywords: gender, cultural transmission, historical persistence
    JEL: N0 Z1 J16
    Date: 2017–07
  6. By: Mite Miteski (National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia); Dijana Janevska Stefanova (National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of foreign direct investment inflows in the industrial, construction and services sectors on economic growth in a panel of sixteen Central, Eastern and Southeastern European CESEE countries using data of different time spans within the 1998-2013 period. The empirical results show that total FDI contributes positively to the growth in the analyzed countries. With regards to our main focus, the analysis of the decomposition of FDI finds that FDI in the industrial and services sectors has a positive and significant effect on economic growth, whereas FDI in the construction sector does not exert statistically significant growth-promoting effects.
    Keywords: Foreign direct investment, economic growth, industrial sector, construction sector, services sector:
    JEL: F21 F43 C23 O47
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Fasoranti, Modupe Mary; Alimi, Rasaq Santos
    Abstract: Nigeria has had an uninterrupted democratisation wave since 1999 and the country has had its share of macroeconomic instability in terms of high rates of inflation and huge debt profile due to high cost of governance. Against this background, this study test the hypothesis that government in young democracies tend to generates large government size and test also the hypothesis that the outgoing dictatorships of the day engaged in activities which would bequest the young democracies big bills to be repaid at the initial stages of those new democratic regimes. Applying time series analysis on Nigeria data for the period of 1960 to 2015, the study found that (i) democracy in Nigeria is associated with bigger government and huge public debts (ii) the hypothesis that outgoing dictatorship bequest the young democracies with big bills is not confirmed for Nigeria. Moreover, the study found evidence that as democracy mature over the long run, the size of government tends to decrease, this is suggestive that democracy needs time to adapt and evolve over time. This study has provided deeper understanding of the recent history of Nigeria in terms of its dynamics during political transitions.
    Keywords: Democracy, government size, external debt, public debt, Nigeria
    JEL: C52 E62 H11 O43
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Akira Kamiguchi (School of Economics, Hokusei Gakuen University); Toshiki Tamai (Graduate School of Economics, Nagoya University)
    Abstract: This paper develops an overlapping generations model with debt-financed public investment. The model assumes that the government is subject to the golden rule of public finance and that households are Yaari-Blanchard type. It is shown that the growth-maximizing and utility-maximizing tax rates do not satisfy the Barro tax rule, which is equal to the output elasticity of public capital. Furthermore, we show that both tax rates positively depend on longevity, with an aging population increasing debt per GDP. This result captures a tendency of increasing debt per GDP under population aging in the real world.
    Keywords: Public capital, Golden rule of public finance, Economic growth
    JEL: H54 H60 O40
    Date: 2017–04
  9. By: Asongu, Simplice; Asongu, Ndemaze
    Abstract: This study explores a new dataset in order to present the comparative determinants of growth quality in 93 developing countries for the period 1990-2011. We employ both cross-sectional and panel estimation techniques with contemporary and non-contemporary specifications. The determinants are quite heterogeneous in significance and magnitude with substantial inclinations to specifications and estimation techniques. We present and discuss the findings in increasing magnitude of significance so as to ease comparative readability. We also discuss how specificities in the modelling techniques are relevant for targeting growth quality. The results are timely and relevant for the post-2015 inclusive and sustainable development agenda.
    Keywords: Quality of growth; Development
    JEL: I10 I20 I32 O40 O57
    Date: 2017–01

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