nep-gro New Economics Papers
on Economic Growth
Issue of 2023‒01‒16
ten papers chosen by
Marc Klemp
University of Copenhagen

  1. On the long-run fluctuations of inheritance in two-sector OLG models By Florian Pelgrin; Alain Venditti
  2. Immigration, Innovation, and Growth By Stephen J Terry; Thomas Chaney; Konrad B Burchardi; Lisa Tarquinio; Tarek A Hassan
  3. Wealth and its Distribution in Germany, 1895-2018 By Thilo N H Albers; Charlotte Bartels; Moritz Schularick
  4. Back to the Surplus: An Unorthodox Neoclassical Model of Growth, Distribution and Unemployment with Technical Change By Juan E. Jacobo
  5. Medieval Anti-Semitism, Weimar Social Capital, and the Rise of the Nazi Party: A Reconsideration By Guinnane, T. W.; Hoffman, P.
  6. Historical roots, cultural selection and the ‘New World Order’ By Miller, Marcus
  7. We do not know the Population of Every Country in the World for the Past Two Thousand Years By Guinnane, T. W.
  8. Patents that Match your Standards: Firm-level Evidence on Competition and Growth By Bergeaud Antonin; Schmidt Julia; Zago Riccardo
  9. Technological Change and Demographics in a model where consumption is time-constrained By Manoj Pant; Sugandha Huria
  10. Coups and Economic Crises By Bjørnskov, Christian

  1. By: Florian Pelgrin (EDHEC - EDHEC Business School - UCL - Université catholique de Lille); Alain Venditti (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, EDHEC - EDHEC Business School - UCL - Université catholique de Lille)
    Abstract: This paper provides a long-run cycle perspective to explain the behavior of the annual flow of inheritance. Based on the low- and medium frequency properties of long time bequests series in Sweden, France, UK, and Germany, we explore the extent to which a two-sector Barro-type OLG model is consistent with such empirical regularities. As long as agents are sufficiently impatient and preferences are non-separable, we show that endogenous fluctuations are likely to occur through two mechanisms, which can generate independently or together either period-2 cycles or Hopf bifurcations. The first mechanism relies on the elasticity of intertemporal substitution or equivalently the sign of the cross-derivative of the utility function whereas the second rests on sectoral technologies through the sign of the capital intensity difference across two sectors. Furthermore, building on the quasi-palindromic nature of the degree-4 characteristic equation, we derive some meaningful sufficient conditions associated to the occurrence of complex roots and a Hopf bifurcation in a two-sector OLG model.
    Keywords: Two-sector overlapping generations model,Altruism,Bequest,Endogenous fluctuations,Quasi-palindromic polynomial,Periodic and quasi-periodic cycles
    Date: 2022–08
  2. By: Stephen J Terry (BU - Boston University [Boston], NBER - National Bureau of Economic Research [New York] - NBER - The National Bureau of Economic Research); Thomas Chaney (USC - University of Southern California, ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR); Konrad B Burchardi (Stockholm University); Lisa Tarquinio (UWO - University of Western Ontario); Tarek A Hassan (BU - Boston University [Boston], NBER - National Bureau of Economic Research [New York] - NBER - The National Bureau of Economic Research, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR)
    Abstract: We show a causal impact of immigration on innovation and growth 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; interacting this plausibly exogenous variation in ancestry composition with the recent inflows of migrants from different origins, we predict the total number of migrants flowing into each US county in recent decades. We show immigration has a positive causal impact on innovation, measured as patenting of local firms, and on economic growth, measured as real income growth for native workers. We interpret those results through the lens of a quantitative model of endogenous growth and migrations. A structural estimation of this model targeting the well identified causal impact of migration on innovation suggests the large inflow of foreign migrants into the US since 1965 may have contributed to an additional 8% growth in innovation and 5% growth in wages.
    Keywords: Migrations, Innovation, Patents, Endogenous growth, Dynamism
    Date: 2022–11–24
  3. By: Thilo N H Albers (Humboldt University Of Berlin, Lund University [Lund]); Charlotte Bartels (DIW Berlin - Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, IZA - Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit - Institute of Labor Economics); Moritz Schularick (University of Bonn, ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR)
    Abstract: German history over the past 125 years has been turbulent. Marked by two world wars, revolutions and major regime changes, as well as a hyperinflation and three currency reforms, expropriations and territorial divisions, it provides unique insights into the role of country-specific shocks in shaping long-run wealth dynamics. This paper presents the first comprehensive study of wealth and its distribution in Germany since the 19th century. We combine tax and archival data, household surveys, historical national accounts, and rich lists to analyze the evolution of the German wealth distribution over the long run. We show that the top 1% wealth share has fallen by half, from close to 50% in 1895 to 27% today. Nearly all of this decline was the result of changes that occurred between 1914 and 1952. The interwar period and the wealth taxation in the aftermath of World War II stand out as the great equalizers in 20 th century German history. After unification in 1990, two trends have left their mark on the German wealth distribution. Households at the top made substantial capital gains from rising business wealth while the middle-class had large capital gains in the housing market. The wealth share of the bottom 50% halved since 1990. Our findings speak to the importance of historical shocks to the distribution and valuations of existing wealth in explaining the evolution of the wealth distribution over the long run.
    Keywords: Wealth inequality, Portfolio heterogeneity, Saving, Wealth taxation
    Date: 2022–05
  4. By: Juan E. Jacobo
    Abstract: The article examines how institutions, automation, unemployment and income distribution interact in the context of a neoclassical growth model where profits are interpreted as a surplus over costs of production. Adjusting the model to the experience of the US economy, I show that joint variations in labor institutions and technology are required to provide reasonable explanations for the behavior of income shares, capital returns, unemployment, and the big ratios in macroeconomics. The model offers new perspectives on recent trends by showing that they can be analyzed by the interrelation between the profit-making capacity of capitalist economies and the political environment determining labor institutions.
    Date: 2022–11
  5. By: Guinnane, T. W.; Hoffman, P.
    Abstract: The persistence literature in economics and related disciplines connects recent outcomes to events long ago. This influential literature marks a promising development but has drawn criticism. We discuss two prominent examples that ground the rise of the Nazi Party in distant historical roots. Several econometric, analytical, and historical errors undermine the papers’ contention that deeply rooted culture and social capital fueled the Nazi rise. The broader lesson is that research of this type works best when it incorporates careful econometrics, serious consideration of underlying mechanisms (including formal theory), and, most important, scrupulous attention to history and to the limitations of historical data.
    Keywords: Historical persistence, medieval pogroms, social capital, culture, networks, Nazism, voting behavior, anti-Semitism, political parties, religion, empirical economics, data based estimates, econometrics
    JEL: C18 D71 D72 D85 D91 L14 N01 N13 N14 Z10 Z12
    Date: 2022–12–12
  6. By: Miller, Marcus (University of Warwick, CAGE and CEPR)
    Abstract: Francis Fukuyama’s bold prediction that Western liberal democracy is ‘the final form of human government’ was promptly challenged by Samuel Huntington, who foresaw the future as a continuing clash of civilisations. This latter view has found support in the recent Beijing declaration by China and Russia of a ‘New World Order’ with distinct spheres of influence for different cultures. After discussing the contrast between such historical perspectives (of ‘immaculate convergence’ versus cultural diversity), we outline two accounts of how forms of governance emerge from competitive struggle (either domestically or between nation states). However, to set the scene for applying these perspectives to current events, the paper begins with a summary of three eras of political economy post World War II - including the current ‘age of the strongman’, to use the terminology of Gideon Rachman. Subsequently, these various perspectives are employed to see what light they may throw on the disastrous turn of events following the Beijing declaration, with a focus on Russia, where the history of a powerful central state has played a crucial role. How enduring the Russian example may prove in the Darwinian struggle of cultural competition is, of course, a key issue for our time.
    Keywords: Individualism ; Collectivism ; Culture ; Social Contracts ; Social preferences ; Neofeudalism ; Despotism ; New World Order. JEL Codes: C70 ; C73 ; N00 ; P00 ; P50 ; Z10 ; Z13
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Guinnane, T. W.
    Abstract: Economists have reported results based on populations for every country in the world for the past two thousand years. The source, McEvedy and Jones’ Atlas of World Population History, includes many estimates that are little more than guesses and that do not reflect research since 1978. McEvedy and Jones often infer population sizes from their view of a particular economy, making their estimates poor proxies for economic growth. Their rounding means their measurement error is not “classical.†Some economists augment that error by disaggregating regions in unfounded ways. Econometric results that rest on McEvedy and Jones are unreliable.
    Date: 2022–12–15
  8. By: Bergeaud Antonin; Schmidt Julia; Zago Riccardo
    Abstract: When a technology becomes the new standard, the firms that are leaders in producing this technology have a competitive advantage. Matching the semantic content of patents to standards and exploiting the exogenous timing of standardization, we show that firms closer to the new technological frontier increase their market share and sales. In addition, if they operate in a very competitive market, these firms also increase their R&D expenses and investment. Yet, these effects are temporary since standardization creates a common technological basis for everyone which allows followers to catch up and the economy to grow.
    Keywords: Standardization, Patents, Competition, Innovation, Text Mining
    JEL: L15 O31 O33
    Date: 2022
  9. By: Manoj Pant (Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi, India); Sugandha Huria (Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi, India)
    Abstract: This study demonstrates why traditional ‘cost-saving’ technical progress fails in an economy where consumption is time-constrained. In such a case, introducing ‘time- saving’ technical progress establishes a new consumption-production equilibrium characterized by higher per-capita consumption and real income, lower prices, and, a higher scale of production for surviving producers. Nonetheless, since there is a limit to how much time can be saved by technological advances, the model also suggests an alternative solution in the form of a rising labor force (via immigration) to close the production-consumption gap. This solution echoes the empirical reality illustrating why Emerging Market Economies matter.
    Keywords: Cost-saving technical progress, Time-saving technical progress, Consumption-time, General Equilibrium model, Demographics, Immigration
    JEL: O14 D50 D11 D21
    Date: 2022
  10. By: Bjørnskov, Christian (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: This paper explores whether coups cause increased crisis risk, and if some types of coups are associated with stronger risk. I use a worldwide sample with data on more than 1200 onsets of economic crises between 1950 and 2019, treat separate effects of military and civilian coup attempts, and distinguish between failed and successful coups. The data reveal that economic crises are primarily induced by successful coups, and by coups that result in regime change towards civilian autocracy from both democracy and military dictatorship.
    Keywords: Democracy; Autocracy; Regime Types; Crisis
    JEL: O11 O43 P16
    Date: 2022–12–19

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