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Author:Ravikumar, B. 

Working Paper
The quantitative importance of openness in development

This paper deals with a classic development question: how can the process of economic development ? transition from stagnation in a traditional technology to industrialization and prosperity with a modern technology ? be accelerated? Lewis (1954) and Rostow (1956) argue that the pace of industrialization is limited by the rate of capital formation which in turn is limited by the savings rate of workers close to subsistence. We argue that access to capital goods in the world market can be quantitatively important in speeding up the transition. We develop a parsimonious open-economy model where ...
Working Papers , Paper 2013-025

How Fast Are COVID-19 Death Rates Declining? U.S. vs. Other Countries

The U.S. death rate from COVID-19 has fallen considerably from its peak, but it isn’t falling as fast as the rates in other countries.
On the Economy

Working Paper
Convergence to Rational Expectations in Learning Models: A Note of Caution

This paper illustrates a challenge in analyzing the learning algorithms resulting in second-order difference equations. We show in a simple monetary model that the learning dynamics do not converge to the rational expectations monetary steady state. We then show that to guarantee convergence, the gain parameter used in the learning rule has to be restricted based on economic fundamentals in the monetary model.
Working Papers , Paper 2020-027

Working Paper
Capital Accumulation and Dynamic Gains from Trade

We compute welfare gains from trade in a dynamic, multi-country Ricardian model where international trade affects capital accumulation. We calibrate the model for 93 countries and examine transition paths between steady-states after a permanent, uniform trade liberalization across countries. Our model allows for both the relative price of investment and the investment rate to depend on the world distribution of trade barriers. Accounting for transitional dynamics, welfare gains are about 60 percent of those measured by comparing only the steady-states, and three times larger than those with ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 296

Journal Article
Why Are Life-Cycle Earnings Profiles Getting Flatter?

The authors present a simple, two-period model of human capital accumulation on the job and through college attainment. They use a calibrated version of the model to explain the observed flattening of the life-cycle earnings profiles of two cohorts of workers. The model accounts for more than 55 percent of the observed flattening for high school-educated and for college-educated workers. Two channels generate the flattening in the model: selection (or higher college attainment) and a higher skill price for the more recent cohort. Absent selection, the model would have accounted for no ...
Review , Volume 99 , Issue 3 , Pages 245-57

Working Paper
Capital Goods Trade, Relative Prices, and Economic Development

International trade in capital goods has quantitatively important effects on economic development through capital formation and TFP. Capital goods trade enables poor countries to access more efficient technologies, leading to lower relative prices of capital goods and higher capital-output ratios. Moreover, poor countries can use their comparative advantage and allocate their resources more efficiently, and increase their TFP. We quantify these channels using a multisector, multicountry, Ricardian model of trade with capital accumulation. The model matches several trade and development facts ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-6

How Spread Out Is the U.S. Population?

Half the nation’s population lives in less than 5% of its counties.
On the Economy

Working Paper
Price equalization does not imply free trade

In this paper we show that price equalization alone is not sufficient to establish that there are no barriers to international trade. There are many barrier combinations that deliver price equalization, but each combination implies a different volume of trade. Therefore, in order to make statements about trade barriers it is necessary to know the trade flows. We demonstrate this first in a simple two-country model. We then extend the result to a multi-country model with two sectors. We show that for the case of capital goods trade, barriers have to be large in order to be consistent with the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2012-010

Journal Article
The Lost Weeks of COVID-19 Testing in the United States: Part I

The weeks lost due to inaction in the U.S. during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in rationing of tests and a large number of confirmed cases.
Economic Synopses , Issue 24

Working Paper
Talent, labor quality, and economic development

We develop a theory of labor quality based on (i) the division of the labor force> between unskilled and skilled workers and (ii) investments in skilled workers. In our> theory, countries differ in two key dimensions: talent and total factor productivity> (TFP). We measure talent using the observed achievement levels from the Programme> for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores. Our findings imply that the qual-> ity of labor in rich countries is about twice as large as the quality in poor countries.> Thus, the implied disparities in TFP levels are smaller relative to the standard ...
Working Papers , Paper 2013-027

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