nep-gro New Economics Papers
on Economic Growth
Issue of 2019‒12‒23
four papers chosen by
Marc Klemp
University of Copenhagen

  1. From Gutenberg to Google: The Internet Is Adopted Earlier if Ancestors Had Advanced Information Technology in 1500 AD By Ljunge, Martin
  2. Gender Equality as an Enforcer of Individuals’ Choice between Education and Fertility: Evidence from 19th Century France. By Claude Diebolt; Tapas Mishra; Faustine Perrin
  3. Time-consistent resource management with regime shifts By Maria Arvaniti; Chandra K. Krishnamurthy; Anne-Sophie Crépin
  4. Dynamic analysis of demographic change and human capital accumulation in an R&D-based growth model By Kohei Okada

  1. By: Ljunge, Martin (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: Individuals with ancestry from countries with advanced information technology in 1500 AD, such as movable type and paper, adopt the internet faster than those with less advanced ancestry. The analysis illustrates persistence over five centuries in information technology adoption in European and U.S. populations. The results hold when excluding the most and least advanced ancestries, and when accounting for additional deep roots of development. Historical information technology is a better predictor of internet adoption than current development. A machine learning procedure supports the findings. Human capital is a plausible channel as 1500 AD information technology predicts early 20th century school enrollment, which predicts 21st century internet adoption. A three-stage model including human capital around 1990, yields similar results.
    Keywords: Internet; Technology diffusion; Information technology; Intergenerational transmission; Printing press
    JEL: D13 D83 J24 N70 O33 Z13
    Date: 2019–12–18
  2. By: Claude Diebolt; Tapas Mishra; Faustine Perrin
    Abstract: Recent theoretical developments of growth models, especially on unified theories of growth, suggest that the child quantity-quality trade-off has been a central element of the transition from Malthusian stagnation to sustained growth. Using a unique census-based dataset, this article explores the role of gender on the trade-off between education and fertility across 86 French counties during the nineteenth century, as an empirical extension of Diebolt and Perrin (2013, 2019a). We first test the existence of the child quantity-quality trade-off in 1851. Second, we explore the long-run effect of education on fertility from a gendered approach. Two important results emerge: (i) significant and negative association between education and fertility is found, and (ii) such a relationship is non-uniform over the distribution of education/fertility. While our results suggest the existence of a negative and significant effect of the female endowments in human capital on the fertility transition, the effects of negative endowment almost disappear at a low level of fertility.
    Keywords: Gender difference; Cliometrics; Individuals’ choice; Education; Fertility; ; Quantile regression; Unified growth theory; Nineteenth century France; Quality-Quantity trade-off.
    JEL: C22 C26 C32 C36 C81 C82 I20 J13 N01 N33
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Maria Arvaniti (Chair of Economics/Resource Economics, ETH, Zurich and Center for Environmental and Resource Economics (CERE), Umea, Sweden.); Chandra K. Krishnamurthy (Beijer Institute for Ecological Economics, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Department of Forest Economics, Swedish Agricultural University, SLU, Umea and Center for Environmental and Resource Economics (CERE), Umea, Sweden.); Anne-Sophie Crépin (Beijer Institute for Ecological Economics, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm and Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm.)
    Abstract: We investigate how a resource user who is present-biased manages a renewable resource stock with variable growth that could undergo a reversible regime shift (an abrupt, persistent change in structure and function of the ecosystem supplying the resource). In a discrete-time quasihyperbolic discounting framework with no commitment device, and using only generic utility functions and stock transition with regime shifts, we show that there is a unique, time-consistent stationary Markov-Nash equilibrium extraction policy. Further, we find that the optimal extraction policy is increasing in the resource stock and in the degree of present bias. Overall, our results suggest that for characteristics of ecosystems commonly considered in the literature, presentbiased resource users will increase extraction when faced with regime shifts.
    Keywords: Renewable resources, Regime shifts, Hyperbolic Discounting, Present bias, Uncertainty, Markov Equilibrium
    JEL: Q20 C61 C73
    Date: 2019–12
  4. By: Kohei Okada (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University,)
    Abstract: Employing an overlapping-generations model of R&D-based growth with endogenous fertil- ity, mortality, and education choice, we examine how demographic changes and human capital accumulation influence R&D activity. We show that multiple steady states can exist in this economy. One steady state has a high level of human capital and the other has a low level. In the steady state with high (low) level of human capital, there is a high (low) level of R&D activity, a low (high) fertility rate, and a high (low) old-age survival rate. In addition, we show that the government can steer an economy away from a poverty trap trajectory by investing in public health. We also show that an improvement in the government's public health policy has an inverted U-shaped effect on the growth rate at the steady state.
    Keywords: Demographic change, Human capital accumulation, R&D
    JEL: I25 J10 O10 O30
    Date: 2019–12

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