nep-gro New Economics Papers
on Economic Growth
Issue of 2023‒10‒23
thirteen papers chosen by
Marc Klemp, University of Copenhagen

  1. Religion and Growth By Becker, Sascha O; Rubin, Jared; Woessmann, Ludger
  2. Stimulating Long-Term Growth and Welfare in the U.S. By James Malley; Apostolis Philippopoulos; Jim Malley
  3. Populist Leaders and the Economy By Manuel Funke; Moritz Schularick; Christoph Trebesch
  4. Growth and Innovation in the Modern Data Economy By Orlando Gomes; Roxana Mihet; Kumar Rishabh
  5. Natural Resources, State Ownership, and Economic Development By Markus Brückner; Chadi Bou Habib; Martin Lokanc
  6. Structural Transformation and Value Change: The British Abolitionist Movement By Valentín Figueroa; Vasiliki Fouka
  7. European business cycles and economic growth, 1300-2000 By Broadberry, Stephen; Lennard, Jason
  8. Heat and Economics: Climate Change’s Influence on Madagascar’s GDP By ANDRIAANDY, Josué R.; Randriamifidy, Fitiavana M.; Andrianavony, Jovianah K.
  9. Technology and Development: An Exploration of the Data By Charles Kenny; George Yang
  10. Debt and Economic Growth: Does Size Matter? Evidence from Dynamic Parametric and Static Non-parametric Approaches By Reyes-Tagle, Gerardo; Muñoz-Ayala, Jorge E.
  11. Productivity in the World Economy During and After the Pandemic By John G. Fernald; Huiyu Li
  12. Industrial Policy and the Great Divergence By Juhász, Réka; Steinwender, Claudia
  13. Napoleonic Administrative Reforms and Development. Lessons from the Italian Mezzogiorno By Cainelli, Giulio; Ciccarelli, Carlo; Ganau, Roberto

  1. By: Becker, Sascha O (Monash University and University of Warwick; CAGE, CEH@ANU, CEPR, CESifo, CReAM, IZA, ROA, Rockwool Foundation Berlin, and SoDa Labs); Rubin, Jared (Chapman University); Woessmann, Ludger (University of Munich, ifo Institute; Hoover Institution, Stanford University, CESifo, IZA, and CAGE)
    Abstract: We use the elements of a macroeconomic production function—physical capital, human capital, labor, and technology—together with standard growth models to frame the role of religion in economic growth. Unifying a growing literature, we argue that religion can enhance or impinge upon economic growth through all four elements because it shapes individual preferences, societal norms, and institutions. Religion affects physical capital accumulation by influencing thrift and financial development. It affects human capital through both religious and secular education. It affects population and labor by influencing work effort, fertility, and the demographic transition. And it affects total factor productivity by constraining or unleashing technological change and through rituals, legal institutions, political economy, and conflict. Synthesizing a disjoint literature in this way opens many interesting directions for future research.
    Keywords: religion ; growth ; Christianity ; Judaism ; Islam ; preferences ; norms ; institutions ; capital ; saving ; financial development ; human capital ; education ; population ; labor ; demography ; fertility ; total factor productivity, ;technological change ; rituals ; political economy ; conflict JEL Codes: Z12 ; O40 ; N30 ; I25 ; O15
    Date: 2023
  2. By: James Malley; Apostolis Philippopoulos; Jim Malley
    Abstract: We develop an endogenous growth model to quantify how permanent structural policy changes that enhance the fiscal policy mix, markets’ functioning, and public institutions’ quality affect long-term growth and welfare. The reforms include increased public investment, reduced market power through lower price markups for patents and intermediate goods, and an improved institutional framework that reduces rent-seeking. All reforms, except lower patent prices, lead to per-capita output and welfare gains along the transition and balanced growth paths. In contrast, a lower markup in the research sector hurts innovation, leading to lower growth over both paths and welfare losses along the transition.
    Keywords: endogenous growth, structural policy, welfare
    JEL: H30 O41 O43
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Manuel Funke (Kiel Institute for the World Economy - Kiel Institute for the World Economy); Moritz Schularick (Kiel Institute for the World Economy - Kiel Institute for the World Economy, ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Christoph Trebesch (Kiel Institute for the World Economy - Kiel Institute for the World Economy)
    Abstract: Populism at the country level is at an all-time high, with more than 25% of nations currently governed by populists. How do economies perform under populist leaders? We build a new long run crosscountry database to study the macroeconomic history of populism. We identify 51 populist presidents and prime ministers from 1900 to 2020 and show that the economic cost of populism is high. After 15 years, GDP per capita is 10% lower compared to a plausible non-populist counterfactual. Economic disintegration, decreasing macroeconomic stability, and the erosion of institutions typically go hand in hand with populist rule.
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Orlando Gomes (Lisbon Accounting and Business School); Roxana Mihet (University of Lausanne, Swiss Finance Institute and CEPR); Kumar Rishabh (University of Basel and University of Lausanne)
    Abstract: In this paper, we formulate a growth model of the data economy, highlighting data's dual role as a business optimization tool and a cybercrime target. We investigate the impact of cybercrime on firm innovation and economic growth, finding that it unequivocally leads to reduced knowledge stocks, decreased productivity, and slower overall economic growth for all firms. However, there is a silver lining: cybercrime risk prompts data-intensive companies to pursue digital innovation, enhancing productivity in other domains. We observe increased R&D, patenting, and patent diversity in response to higher cyber risk, especially among data-intensive firms. Non-data-intensive firms do not exhibit increased general innovation in response to cyber risk. Notably, in-house cybersecurity innovation sustains this cycle, while third-party cybersecurity delegation lacks the same innovation benefits.
    Keywords: Data economy, data theft, data breaches, cyber-risk, growth, artificial intelligence, innovation
    JEL: D8 O3 O4 G3 L1 L2 M1
    Date: 2023–09
  5. By: Markus Brückner; Chadi Bou Habib; Martin Lokanc
    Abstract: This paper revisits the relationship between countries' natural resource abundance and economic development. We find that natural resources are supportive of pro-poor, inclusive, long-term economic growth. Cross-country regressions show that: (i) countries with greater natural resource abundance have on average significantly higher levels of GDP per capita; (ii) poverty rates are significantly lower in resource abundant countries; (iii) natural resource abundance has a significant positive effect on countries' Human Development Index. We show that state ownership is a significant transmission channel through which countries' natural resource abundance affects economic development. This is particularly true in countries that combine above-median state ownership and highly performing policies and institutions.
    Keywords: Natural Resources; National Income; Poverty; Human Development; State Ownership
    JEL: C3 O1 O4 Q3
    Date: 2023–10
  6. By: Valentín Figueroa; Vasiliki Fouka
    Abstract: What drives change in a society’s values? From Marx to modernization theory, scholars have identified a connection between structural transformation and social change. To understand how changes in a society’s dominant mode of production affect its dominant values, we examine the case of the movement for the abolition of slavery in the late 18th and early 19th century Britain, one of history’s most well-known campaigns for social change, which coincided temporally with the Industrial Revolution. We argue that structural transformation alters the distribution of power in society and enables groups with distinct values and weak economic interest in the status quo to mobilize for change. Using data on anti-slavery petitions, membership in abolitionist groups, MP voting behavior in Parliament and economic activity, we show that support for abolition was strongly connected to manufacturing at the aggregate and individual level. We rely on biographical data and the analysis of parliamentary speeches to show that industrialists were relatively less reliant on income from slavery and were characterized by a universalist worldview that distinguished them from established elites. Together, our findings suggest that both values and economic interest play a role in driving social change.
    Keywords: values, structural transformation, social change, slavery, abolition
    JEL: A13 N63 O14 P16 Z10
    Date: 2023
  7. By: Broadberry, Stephen; Lennard, Jason
    Abstract: The modern business cycle features long expansions combined with short recessions and is thus related to the emergence of sustained economic growth. It also features significant international co-movement and is therefore associated with growing market integration and globalisation. When did these patterns first appear? This paper explores the changing nature of the business cycle using historical national accounts for nine European economies between 1300 and 2000. For the sample as a whole, the modern business cycle emerged at the end of the eighteenth century.
    Keywords: business cycle; economic growth; Europe
    JEL: N10 E32 O47
    Date: 2023–10–01
  8. By: ANDRIAANDY, Josué R.; Randriamifidy, Fitiavana M.; Andrianavony, Jovianah K.
    Abstract: Employing a VAR model, this work delves into Madagascar’s economic dynamics, particularly its GDP growth, agricultural production, and land use, with a pronounced emphasis on the profound influence of temperature fluctuations. The results illuminate the intricate interplay between economic activities and climatic variations, emphasizing the susceptibility of the economy to temperature changes. This underscores the urgency of formulating adaptive strategies that mitigate the adverse effects of temperature fluctuations, enabling not only economic growth but also environmental sustainability a synergy crucial for Madagascar’s prosperous future.
    Keywords: VAR model, Madagascar, GDP growth, agricultural production, land use, temperature fluctuations, economic dynamics, climate change, environmental sustainability
    JEL: A1 E6 O1
    Date: 2023
  9. By: Charles Kenny (Center for Global Development); George Yang (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: We present data on the global diffusion of technologies over time, updating and adding to Comin and Mestieri’s "CHAT" database. We analyze usage primarily based on per capita measures and divide technologies into the two broad categories of production and consumption. We conclude that there has been strong convergence in use of consumption technologies with somewhat slower and more partial convergence in production technologies. This reflects considerably stronger global convergence in quality of life than in income, but we note that universal convergence in use of production technologies is not required for income convergence (only that countries are approaching the technology frontier in the goods and services that they produce).
    Keywords: Technology, Diffusion, Dataset
    JEL: O33 O47 F02
    Date: 2022–05–20
  10. By: Reyes-Tagle, Gerardo; Muñoz-Ayala, Jorge E.
    Abstract: This paper provides new evidence on the effect of debt on economic growth through two alternative methodological approaches. On the one hand, by using a panel error correction model with a sample of 130 countries between 1980 and 2020, we found evidence of the existence of a range of debt-to-GDP ratios for which economic growth remains positive after debt surges. This threshold may lie between 32 percent and 136 percent, with optimal economic growth achieved at an 84 percent debt-to-GDP ratio for the whole sample of countries. The error correction form for the economic growth was dynamically consistent and non-linear with respect to the debt-to-GDP ratio. On the other hand, recent evidence has shown that commodity price volatility increases external debt accumulation for commodity-exporting countries. Still, there is no evidence of the effects of debt surges on these countries' economic growth. This paper provides original insights into the relationship between economic growth and the debt-to-GDP ratio for commodity and non-commodity-driven economies by employing a regression discontinuity design (RDD) approach. This method allows us to estimate differences in economic growth around an estimated threshold without assuming any specific function for the underlying relationship between the two variables. Our findings suggest that non-commodity-driven economies benefit from a higher threshold (85 percent) than commodity-exporting economies (50 percent).
    Keywords: debt thresholds;optimal debt;economic growth;ECM/ARDL panel;panel cointegration;RDD;commodity-exporting and non-commodity-exporting economies
    JEL: C22 C23 E62 F43 G18 H63
    Date: 2023–04
  11. By: John G. Fernald; Huiyu Li
    Abstract: This paper reviews how productivity has evolved around the world since the pandemic began in 2020. Productivity in many countries has been volatile. We conclude that the broad contours of productivity growth during this period have been heavily shaped by predictable cyclical patterns. Looking at U.S. industry data, we find little evidence that the sharp rise in telework has had a notable impact, good or bad, on productivity. Stepping back, the data so far appear consistent with a continuation of the slow-productivity-growth trajectory that we faced before the pandemic.
    Keywords: growth accounting; productivity; remote work; pandemic; covid19
    JEL: E01 E23 E24 O47
    Date: 2023–09–28
  12. By: Juhász, Réka; Steinwender, Claudia
    Abstract: We discuss recent work evaluating the role of the government in shaping the economy during the long 19th century, a practice we refer to as industrial policy. We show that states deployed a vast variety of different policies aimed at, primarily, but not exclusively, fostering industrialization. We discuss the thin, but growing literature that evaluates the economic effects of these policies. We highlight some fruitful avenues for future study.
    Date: 2023–09–21
  13. By: Cainelli, Giulio (University of Padua); Ciccarelli, Carlo (University of Rome "Tor Vergata" and CAGE); Ganau, Roberto (University of Padua and LSE)
    Abstract: We study how changes in the administrative hierarchy of a country affect development at the city level. We exploit the 1806 Napoleonic administrative reform implemented in the Kingdom of Naples as a historical experiment to assess whether district capitals endowed with supra-municipal administrative functions by law gained an urban development premium compared with non-capital cities. We assemble an original dataset combining historical data from 1648 to 1911, and rely on difference-in-differences and instrumental variable estimation strategies. We find that district capitals recorded a time-persistent population growth premium in the period 1828–1911, and experienced higher industrialization both before and after the Italian unification occurred in 1861, compared with non-capital cities. We explain our results through mechanisms related to public goods provision and transport network accessibility.
    Keywords: Napoleonic reforms; territorial administrative hierarchy; long-run development JEL Classification: H11, N13, O11, R11
    Date: 2023

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