nep-gro New Economics Papers
on Economic Growth
Issue of 2019‒11‒25
nine papers chosen by
Marc Klemp
University of Copenhagen

  1. Historical family systems and lasting developmental trajectories in Europe: the power of the family? By Szoltysek, Mikolaj; Poniat, Radosław
  2. Occupation Mobility, Human Capital and the Aggregate Consequences of Task-Biased Innovations By Maximiliano Dvorkin; Alexander Monge-Naranjo
  3. Malthus Was Right: Explaining a Millennium of Stagnation By Jacob B. Madsen; Peter E. Robertson; Longfeng Ye
  4. The Growth Effects of El Niño and La Niña: Local Weather Conditions Matter By Cécile Couharde; Olivier Damette; Rémi Generoso; Kamiar Mohaddes
  5. Patterns of Iberian economic growth in the early modern period By Santiago Caballero, Carlos; Palma, Nuno
  6. Education and economic development. The influence of primary schooling on municipalities in nineteenth-century France By Adrien Montalbo
  7. African Economic Growth 1900-50: Historical National Accounts for British Colonial Africa By Jerven, Morten
  8. Economic growth, institutional quality and financial development in middle-income countries By Laura Heras Recuero; Roberto Pascual González
  9. The relationship between financial development and growth: the case of emerging Europe By Alessio Ciarlone

  1. By: Szoltysek, Mikolaj; Poniat, Radosław
    Abstract: Last years have witnessed a growing interest in economics and cross-cultural studies in the role of the historical family as the instigator of disparate developmental trajectories. This new emerging literature has already provoked a considerable amount of controversy, involving debates on the precise underlying mechanisms, the role of non-familial institutions and the possibility of reversed causality, as well as the quality of historical data. Using novel historical database of European family this paper reaffirms the hypothesis that historical family organization could be one of the intermediate factors associated with developmental and value disparities among European nations today pointed out in earlier scholarship. We show that countries starting out from more patriarchal family structures in the past exhibit more hierarchical gender relations, more collectivist mindsets, and lower levels of economic and human development in the present. These findings suggest that the criticism of the family role in comparative development may be premature, and that links between historical family organisation and developmental gradients merit further attention.
    Date: 2019–10–04
  2. By: Maximiliano Dvorkin; Alexander Monge-Naranjo
    Abstract: We construct a dynamic general equilibrium model with occupation mobility, human capital accumulation and endogenous assignment of workers to tasks to quantitatively assess the aggregate impact of automation and other task-biased technological innovations. We extend recent quantitative general equilibrium Roy models to a setting with dynamic occupational choices and human capital accumulation. We provide a set of conditions for the problem of workers to be written in recursive form and provide a sharp characterization for the optimal mobility of individual workers and for the aggregate supply of skills across occupations. We craft our dynamic Roy model in a production setting where multiple tasks within occupations are assigned to workers or machines. We solve for the balanced-growth path and characterize the aggregate transitional dynamics ensuing task-biased technological innovations. In our quantitative analysis of the impact of task-biased innovations in the U.S. since 1980, we find that they account for an increased aggregate output in the order of 75% and for a much higher dispersion in earnings. If the U.S. economy had higher barriers to mobility, it would have experienced less job polarization but substantially higher inequality and lower output as occupation mobility has provided an "escape" for the losers from automation.
    Keywords: dynamic roy models, automation, human capital, aggregation
    JEL: E24 J23 J24 J62 O33 E25
    Date: 2019–11
  3. By: Jacob B. Madsen (Business School, University of Western Australia); Peter E. Robertson (Business School, University of Western Australia); Longfeng Ye (RMIT University)
    Keywords: Economic Growth, Economic Development, Convergence, Technological Progress, Malthusian Trap
    JEL: O4 O47 O1 N00
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Cécile Couharde; Olivier Damette; Rémi Generoso; Kamiar Mohaddes
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the climate-economy literature by analysing the role of weather patterns in influencing the transmission of global climate cycles to economic growth. More specifically, we focus on El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events and their interactions with local weather conditions, taking into account the heterogeneous and cumulative effects of weather patterns on economic growth and the asymmetry and nonlinearity in the global influence of ENSO on economic activity. Using data on 75 countries over the period 1975-2014, we provide evidence for the negative growth effects of ENSO events and show that there are substantial differences between its warm (El Niño) and cold (La Niña) phases and between climate zones. These differences are due to the heterogeneity in weather responses to ENSO events, known as teleconnections, which has so far not been taken into account by economists, and which will become more important in the climate-economy relationship given that climate change may substantially strengthen long-distance relationships between weather patterns around the world. We also show that the negative growth effects associated with these teleconnections are robust to the definition of ENSO events and more important over shorter meteorological onsets.
    Keywords: Economic growth, ENSO events, weather shocks, climate change
    JEL: C33 O40 Q54
    Date: 2019–11
  5. By: Santiago Caballero, Carlos; Palma, Nuno
    Abstract: Around 1500 Spain and Portugal were among the most affluent nations in the world, and had income levels which were similar to those of other Western European countries. Three hundred years later the Iberian economies had lost their economic supremacy and fell behind all the main European powers. When did the first two global empires in history lose their hegemony to become secondary actors? What were the foundations of the collapse that explains the divergence from northwestern Europe? In this chapter we address these issues and describe what we now know about the long-term trends of Iberian economies between 1500 and 1800.
    Keywords: Trade; Agriculture; Regional Dynamics; Early Modern Comparative Growth; Industry
    Date: 2019–11–18
  6. By: Adrien Montalbo (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The impact of education on growth or individual earnings has been vastly studied in economics. However, much remains to know about this association before the mid-20th century. In this article, I investigate the effect of primary schooling on the economic devel- opment of French municipalities during the 19th century and up to World War I. Before the Guizot Law of 1833, no national legislation on primary schooling existed in France. Therefore, I evaluate if the municipalities with higher educational achievements before this law grew more than their counterparts during the following years. To do so, I exploit first the fact that the Guizot Law forced municipalities over 500 inhabitants to open and fund a primary school for boys. I implement a regression discontinuity around this cut-off on municipalities with no primary school in 1833. Second, I instrument educational achieve- ment, namely enrolment rates and schooling years, by the proximity of municipalities to printing presses established before 1500. Each method returns a positive impact of edu- cation on development. Education quality also mattered in this perspective. A matching estimation on municipalities with a school in 1833 indicates a positive impact of better teaching conditions provided by public grants on the subsequent growth of municipalities. Primary schooling is therefore an important factor which favoured the development of French municipalities during the century of industrialisation and modernisation.
    Keywords: Primary instruction,Economic development,Nineteenth-century France
    Date: 2019–09
  7. By: Jerven, Morten (African Economic History Network)
    Abstract: The study of growth in African economies during the 20th Century is hampered by the lack of historical GDP estimates. There has been some backward projections, and country case studies, but despite the available data historical national accounts has not yet been assembled. This paper provides GDP estimates for some former British colonies between 1900 – 1950. The estimates indicate faster growth and economic expansion compared to the previous estimates that have been based on backward extrapolations. It further brings support to the argument that if we observe economic growth in many economies from the 1890s to the 1970s and then only interrupted from 1975s to 1995s, writing about the 20th century for Africa as a growth tragedy may be a mistake, caused by lack of data. New time series data on economic growth may foster a research agenda devoted to the study of different growth trajectories on the continent.
    Keywords: Africa; economic growth; national accounts; GDP
    JEL: C82 E01 N17 N37
    Date: 2019–11–19
  8. By: Laura Heras Recuero (Banco de España); Roberto Pascual González (Banco de España)
    Abstract: This paper aims to investigate the relationship between economic growth, institutional quality and financial development whitin a sample of middle-income countries. We generate three hypothesis on the potential relationships between those three dimensions by reviewing the existing literature and test them in the framework of a Panel Vector Autoregressive (PVAR) model. The main results, derived from the Impulse Response Function (IRF) analysis, are two-fold. First, we find a unidirectional positive relationship from economic growth to financial development. Second, institutional quality and economic growth are positively related but the causality direction depends on the nature of the institutional quality proxies. Legal institutional quality has an impact on economic growth while the latter causes an improvement in public sector institutional quality.
    Keywords: economic growth, economic convergence, institutional quality, financial development
    JEL: O11 O16 O43
    Date: 2019–11
  9. By: Alessio Ciarlone (Banca d'Italia)
    Abstract: In this paper, I provide evidence about the impact that changes in certain indicators of financial development have on economic growth in a sample of 19 countries of Emerging Europe. Real per capita GDP growth, bank credit to the private sector, stock market capitalization and the outstanding stock of international debt securities – along with a series of other traditional determinants of economic development – are found to be co-integrated. By means of recent econometric techniques for heterogeneous panels, inference is drawn about the long- and short-run relationship between the variables of interest. The main result of the analysis points to the existence of non-linearities. There appears to be an inverted U-shaped relationship between bank credit to the private sector and economic growth. By contrast, both domestic stock market capitalization and the stock of international debt securities display a more traditional positive and monotone relationship with economic development.
    Keywords: finance, economic growth, pooled mean group estimator, threshold effect, dynamic panel threshold, non-monotonicity, emerging Europe
    JEL: C23 F43 G21 G23 O11 O16 O41 O47 P34
    Date: 2019–11

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