nep-gro New Economics Papers
on Economic Growth
Issue of 2020‒06‒15
sixteen papers chosen by
Marc Klemp
University of Copenhagen

  1. Innovation and top income inequality By Aghion, Philippe; Akcigit, Ufuk; Bergeaud, Antonin; Blundell, Richard; Hemous, David
  2. Bitter Sugar: Slavery and the Black Family By Bertocchi, Graziella; Dimico, Arcangelo
  3. Prussia Disaggregated: The Demography of its Universe of Localities in 1871 By Becker, Sascha O.; Cinnirella, Francesco
  4. Country of Women? Repercussions of the Triple Alliance War in Paraguay By Alix-Garcia, Jennifer; Schechter, Laura; Valencia Caicedo, Felipe; Zhu, Jessica
  5. Arresting the Sword of Damocles: Dating the Transition to the Post-Malthusian Era in Denmark By Peter Sandholt Jensen; Maja Uhre Pedersen; Cristina Victoria Radu; Paul Richard Sharp
  6. Growth, war, and pandemics: Europe in the very long-run By Rodríguez Caballero, Carlos Vladimir; Prados de la Escosura, Leandro
  7. Engineers and the Knowledge Gap between Andean and Nordic Countries, 1850-1939 By JosŽ Peres-Caj’as; Kristin Ranestad
  8. Success through failure? Four Centuries of Searching for Danish Coal By Kristin Ranestad; Paul Richard Sharp
  9. Education, neopatrimonialism, and revolutions By Raouf Boucekkine; Rodolphe Desbordes; Paolo Melindi-Ghidi
  10. Winners and Losers from Enclosure: Evidence from Danish Land Inequality 1682-1895 By Nina Boberg-Fazlic; Markus Lampe; Pablo Martinelli Lasheras; Paul Sharp
  11. On Investment and Cycles in Explicitely Solved Vintage Capital Models By Hippolyte d'Albis; Jean-Pierre Drugeon
  12. Estimated Human Capital Externalities in an Endogenous Growth Framework By Jim Malley; Ulrich Woitek
  13. Human Capital and Economic Growth in Egypt By Merna Mohamed Esmat Hefnawi; Hebatallah Ghoneim
  14. Immigration, Innovation, and Growth By Burchardi, Konrad B.; Chaney, Thomas; Hassan, Tarek Alexander; Tarquinio, Lisa; Terry, Stephen
  15. The Accumulation of Human and Market Capital in the United States: The Long View, 1948–2013 By Barbara M. Fraumeni; Michael S. Christian; Jon D. Samuels
  16. Recurrent Bubbles and Economic Growth By Pablo A. Guerron-Quintana; Tomohiro Hirano; Ryo Jinnai

  1. By: Aghion, Philippe; Akcigit, Ufuk; Bergeaud, Antonin; Blundell, Richard; Hemous, David
    Abstract: In this article, we use cross-state panel and cross-U.S. commuting-zone data to look at the relationship between innovation, top income inequality and social mobility. We find positive correlations between measures of innovation and top income inequality. We also show that the correlations between innovation and broad measures of inequality are not significant. Next, using instrumental variable analysis, we argue that these correlations at least partly reflect a causality from innovation to top income shares. Finally, we show that innovation, particularly by new entrants, is positively associated with social mobility, but less so in local areas with more intense lobbying activities.
    Keywords: Citations; Entrant; Incumbents; Inequality; Innovation; Patenting; Social Mobility; Top Income
    JEL: O30 O31 O33 O34 O40 O47 D63 J14 J15
    Date: 2019–01–01
  2. By: Bertocchi, Graziella; Dimico, Arcangelo
    Abstract: We empirically assess the effect of historical slavery on the African American family structure. Our hypothesis is that female single headship among blacks is more likely to emerge in association not with slavery per se, but with slavery in sugar plantations, since the extreme demographic and social conditions prevailing in the latter have persistently affected family formation patterns. By exploiting the exogenous variation in sugar suitability, we establish the following. In 1850, sugar suitability is indeed associated with extreme demographic outcomes within the slave population. Over the period 1880-1940, higher sugar suitability determines a higher likelihood of single female headship. The effect is driven by blacks and starts fading in 1920 in connection with the Great Migration. OLS estimates are complemented with a matching estimator and a fuzzy RDD. Over a linked sample between 1880 and 1930, we identify an even stronger intergenerational legacy of sugar planting for migrants. By 1990, the effect of sugar is replaced by that of slavery and the black share, consistent with the spread of its influence through migration and intermarriage, and black incarceration emerges as a powerful mediator. By matching slaves' ethnic origins with ethnographic data we rule out any influence of African cultural traditions.
    Keywords: Black family,slavery,sugar,migration,culture
    JEL: J12 J47 N30 O13 Z10
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Becker, Sascha O. (Monash University); Cinnirella, Francesco (University of Bergamo)
    Abstract: We provide, for the first time, a detailed and comprehensive overview of the demography of more than 50,000 towns, villages, and manors in 1871 Prussia. We study religion, literacy, fertility, and group segregation by location type (town, village, and manor). We find that Jews live predominantly in towns. Villages and manors are substantially segregated by denomination, whereas towns are less segregated. Yet, we find relatively lower levels of segregation by literacy. Regression analyses with county-fixed effects show that a larger share of Protestants is associated with higher literacy rates across all location types. A larger share of Jews relative to Catholics is not significantly associated with higher literacy in towns, but it is in villages and manors. Finally, a larger share of Jews is associated with lower fertility in towns, which is not explained by differences in literacy.
    Keywords: religion, segregation, literacy, fertility, Prussia
    JEL: J13 J15 I21 N33 Z12
    Date: 2020–04
  4. By: Alix-Garcia, Jennifer; Schechter, Laura; Valencia Caicedo, Felipe; Zhu, Jessica
    Abstract: Skewed sex ratios often result from conflict, disease, and migration, yet their long term impact remains less understood. The War of the Triple Alliance (1864-1870) in South America killed up to 70% of the Paraguayan male population. According to Paraguayan national lore, the skewed sex ratios resulting from the confliict are the cause of present-day low marriage rates, high rates of out-of-wedlock births and a generally male chauvinist culture. We collate historical and modern data to test this conventional wisdom in the short and the long run. We examine both cross-border and within-country variation in child-rearing, education and labor force participation in Paraguay over a 150 year period. We find that more skewed post-war sex ratios are associated with higher out-of-wedlock births, more female-headed households, and better female educational outcomes, even after the first returned to normal. Cross-country comparisons suggest that Paraguayan women are less likely to be employed than those in neighboring districts in Argentina and Brazil, but that within Paraguay, they are more likely to be employed where the sex ratio shock was more severe. The impacts of the war persist into the present, and are seemingly unaffected by variation in economic openness, uncertainty, or traditional norms.
    Keywords: conflict; Education; Female Labor Force Participation; Gender; History; Illegitimacy; Latin America; Paraguay; Persistence
    JEL: D74 I25 J16 J21 N16
    Date: 2020–05
  5. By: Peter Sandholt Jensen (University of Southern Denmark); Maja Uhre Pedersen (University of Southern Denmark); Cristina Victoria Radu (University of Southern Denmark); Paul Richard Sharp (University of Southern Denmark, CAGE, CEPR)
    Abstract: Unified Growth Theory postulates a transition from a Malthusian to a post-Malthusian era and finally to modern economic growth. Previous studies have been able to date the end of the post-Malthusian era, but none have conclusively established the timing of the end of the Malthusian era and thus transition to the post-Malthusian era. We consider the case of Denmark, which was characterized by extreme resource and environmental constraints until the final decades of the eighteenth century and thus presents a good candidate for a purely Malthusian society. We employ a cointegrated VAR model on Danish data from ca. 1733-1800, finding that evidence for diminishing returns, which characterize the “pure” Malthusian era, disappears after 1775, consistent with an increasing pace of technological progress.
    Keywords: Cointegration, Denmark, Malthusian, post-Malthusian
    JEL: J1 N33 O4
    Date: 2020–04
  6. By: Rodríguez Caballero, Carlos Vladimir; Prados de la Escosura, Leandro
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the debate on the origins of modern economic growth in Europe from a very long run perspective using econometric techniques that allow for a long-range dependence approach. Different regimes, defined by endogenously estimated structural shocks, coincided with episodes of pandemics and war. The most persistent shocks occurred at the time of the Black Death and the twentieth century's world wars. Our findings confirm that the Black Death often resulted in higher income levels, but reject the view of a uniform long-term response to the Plague while evidence a negative reaction in non-Malthusian economies. Positive trend growth in output per head and population took place in the North Sea Area (Britain and the Low Countries) since the Plague. A gap between the North Sea Area and the rest of Europe, the Little Divergence, emerged between the early seventeenth century and the Napoleonic Wars lending support to Broadberry-van Zanden's interpretation.
    Keywords: Malthusian; Pandemics; War; Little Divergence; Long-Run Growth
    JEL: O47 O10 N40 N30 N10 E01
    Date: 2020–06–05
  7. By: JosŽ Peres-Caj’as (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain); Kristin Ranestad (Lund University, Sweden)
    Abstract: Rather than exogenous endowments, natural resources can be seen as economically exploitable resources thanks to knowledge improvements. This underscores the need to understand why some natural resource abundant countries are able to develop their own technologies while others are not. We tackle this issue by looking at the evolution of engineering faculties and graduate engineers from 1850 to 1939 in Andean and Nordic countries, two regions where natural resources were critical at the onset of modern economic growth. We find the consolidation of a knowledge gap between Andean and Nordic countries during the First Globalization that was materialized in: a) a drastic difference in the total number of locally trained engineers; b) the role that these engineers played in their respective labor markets. These differences were the result of differences in public support to primary education and migration traditions. Both, in turn, are linked to historical and geographic contingencies.
    Keywords: Human capital, Technology, Innovation, First Globalization, Patents, Mining
    JEL: N40 N50 N80 O33 O38
    Date: 2020–06
  8. By: Kristin Ranestad (Lund University); Paul Richard Sharp (University of Southern Denmark, CAGE, CEPR)
    Abstract: Natural resources, especially energy resources, are often considered vital to the process of economic development, with the availability of coal considered central for the nineteenth century. Clearly, however, although coal might have spurred economic development, development might also have spurred the discovery and use of coal. To shed light on this, we suggest that the case of resource poor Denmark, which spent centuries looking for coal, is illuminating. Specifically, we emphasize that the process of looking for coal and the creation of a natural resource industry in itself is important beyond the obvious dichotomy of haves and have-nots. We seek to understand this process and find that prices proved an important stimulus to coal surveys.
    Keywords: Coal, Denmark, natural resources, mining
    JEL: N55
    Date: 2020–05
  9. By: Raouf Boucekkine (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, EHESS, Ecole Centrale, AMSE, Marseille, France); Rodolphe Desbordes (SKEMA Business School-UCA); Paolo Melindi-Ghidi (EconomiX, Paris-Nanterre University & AMSE Aix-Marseille University, France)
    Abstract: The occurrence of some revolutionary episodes seems initially puzzling. For example, before the 'Arab Spring', macroeconomic conditions were improving, the political leaders had been in power for a long time, and the autocrats had shown an apparent interest in the welfare of their population by investing in human capital. We argue that such a paradox can be solved by considering that high education levels are incompatible with the features characterising strong neopatrimonial states. We develop this intuition in a simple theoretical model and we test our prediction in a sequential empirical study of regime changes and regime breakdowns in a large panel of countries. We indeed find that a regime change is more likely in countries combining high neopatrimonialism and high education levels. Moreover, when a regime change happens under these circumstances, a revolution is the most likely type of regime breakdown. These results help to understand the 'Arab Spring' but are not specific to the Arab world.
    Keywords: education, neopatrimonialism, regime breakdown, regime change, revolution
    JEL: D74 P16
    Date: 2020–05
  10. By: Nina Boberg-Fazlic (University of Southern Denmark); Markus Lampe (WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, CEPR); Pablo Martinelli Lasheras (Universidad Carlos III Madrid); Paul Sharp (University of Southern Denmark, CAGE, CEPR)
    Abstract: There is a vast literature on the effects of land inequality and agrarian reforms, but little on the origins of this inequality. We exploit a new and unique parish-level database of land inequality in Denmark, from 1682 to 1895, during which period there was comprehensive land reform and enclosure. We demonstrate that inequality increased after land reform in areas with more productive land, measured using contemporary tax assessments. We instrument for land quality using glacial and post glacial sediment soil types. We propose a mechanism whereby agrarian reforms allowed areas with better soil quality to realize greater productivity gains. Malthusian mechanisms and internal migration then led to greater population increases in more fertile areas, leading to a larger share of smallholders and landless laborers. We present evidence for this mechanism in part from population density revealed by censuses. After the reforms, the geographical pattern of inequality remained strikingly constant, although population and inequality continued to grow throughout the nineteenth century.
    Keywords: Denmark, enclosures, land inequality
    JEL: O13 N53 Q15
    Date: 2020–04
  11. By: Hippolyte d'Albis (PSE - Paris School of Economics); Jean-Pierre Drugeon (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: The purpose of this contribution is to consider a discrete time formulation that would allow for clarifying some salient features of a vintage based understanding of the capital stock..ree main lines of conclusions are established on an analytical basis. First and for an elementary conguration with linear utility, it is proved that the rate of growth of investment is prone to andoscillating—convergent, sustained or unstable—motions. Second and for an environment with a linear production technology and a AK setup, the dynamics of investment is explicitly solved and it is established that the rate of growth of investment may either converge to the steady growth solution in oscillating way, diverge from that solution in a oscillating way, or even undergo permanent sustained oscillations with a periodicity of two. .ird, it is proved that no perennial .uctuations can emerge within a benchmark environment with strictly concave utilities and production technologies. On a methodological basis, few restrictions are superimposed, the arguments remain fairly general and the proofs are elementary.
    Keywords: Vintage Capital,Optimal Growth,Discrete Time
    Date: 2020–05
  12. By: Jim Malley; Ulrich Woitek
    Abstract: To better understand the quantitative implications of human capital externalities at the aggregate level, we estimate a two-sector endogenous growth model with knowledge spill-overs. To achieve this, we account for trend growth in a model consistent fashion and employ a Markov-chain Monte-Carlo (MCMC) algorithm to estimate the model’s posterior parameter distributions. Using U.S. quarterly data from 1964-2017, we find significant positive externalities to aggregate human capital. Our analysis further shows that eliminating this market failure leads to sizeable increases in education-time, endogenous growth and aggregate welfare.
    Keywords: Human capital externalities, endogenous growth, Bayesian estimation
    JEL: C11 C52 E32
    Date: 2019–04
  13. By: Merna Mohamed Esmat Hefnawi (German University in Cairo (GUC)); Hebatallah Ghoneim (German University in Cairo (GUC))
    Abstract: The role that human capital plays in the economic growth of the countries has been an ongoing debate through the last two decades and has shown various empirical results over this period. This study aims is to analyze and investigate the magnitude of relationship between human capital and the economic growth in Egypt since the Egyptian population has exceeded 96 million which shows that human capital is one of the most important resources Egypt has. This raises an important question which is; how this high population can contribute in the economic development of the Egyptian economic system and achieve the desired economic growth?. To investigate this question, two models are examined; a macroeconomics model in addition to a microeconomics model. The results of this study help evaluating the government education and health expenditure policies, giving recommendations for successful social policies, and providing a direction for the needed investments in Egypt.
    Keywords: Economic Development, Economic Growth, Education, Egypt, Experience, Health, Human Capital Earnings Model, Human Capital, Income Distribution, Solow Growth Model
    JEL: D04 I25 J24
    Date: 2020–02
  14. By: Burchardi, Konrad B.; Chaney, Thomas; Hassan, Tarek Alexander; Tarquinio, Lisa; Terry, Stephen
    Abstract: We show a causal impact of immigration on innovation and dynamism in US counties. To identify the causal impact of immigration, we use 130 years of detailed data on migrations from foreign countries to US counties to isolate quasi-random variation in the ancestry composition of US counties that results purely from the interaction of two historical forces: (i) changes over time in the relative attractiveness of different destinations within the US to the average migrant arriving at the time and (ii) the staggered timing of the arrival of migrants from different origin countries. We then use this plausibly exogenous variation in ancestry composition to predict the total number of migrants flowing into each US county in recent decades. We show four main results. First, immigration has a positive impact on innovation, measured by the patenting of local firms. Second, immigration has a positive impact on measures of local economic dynamism. Third, the positive impact of immigration on innovation percolates over space, but spatial spillovers quickly die out with distance. Fourth, the impact of immigration on innovation is stronger for more educated migrants.
    Keywords: dynamism; Endogenous Growth; Innovation; Migrations; patents
    JEL: J61 O31 O40
    Date: 2020–05
  15. By: Barbara M. Fraumeni; Michael S. Christian; Jon D. Samuels
    Abstract: Over the 1948–2013 period, many factors significantly impacted on human capital, which in turn affected economic growth in the United States. This chapter analyzes these factors within a complete national income accounting system which integrates Jorgenson-Fraumeni human capital into the accounts. By including human capital, a fresh perspective on economic growth across time and within specific subperiods is revealed, notably regarding the 1995–2000 and 2007–2009 periods. During the 1995–2000 period, the reduction in human capital investment significantly reduced apparent economic growth. In the 2007–2009 period, the increase in human capital investment tempered the negative impact of the Great Recession. Over the longer time period, first the post-World War baby boom and then the substantial increase in education led to higher economic growth than otherwise expected. As the pace of increase in education slowed and the workforce aged toward the end of the period, human capital induced growth was reduced.
    JEL: E01 E24 I21 J21 J24
    Date: 2020–05
  16. By: Pablo A. Guerron-Quintana; Tomohiro Hirano; Ryo Jinnai
    Abstract: We study a regime-switching recurrent bubble model with endogenous growth. The economy experiences both bubbly and bubbleless regimes recurrently. Innitely lived households expect future bubbles, which crowds out investment and reduces economic growth. Because realized bubbles crowd in investment, their overall impact on economic growth and welfare crucially depends on both the level of nancial development and the frequency of bubbles. We examine the U.S. economic data through the lens of our model, nding evidence of recurrent bubbles. Furthermore, counterfactual simulations suggest that 1) the IT and housing bubbles together lifted U.S. GDP by almost 2 percentage points permanently; and 2) the U.S. economy could have grown even faster if people had believed that asset bubbles would not arise.
    Date: 2020–05

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