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Jel Classification:O11 

Journal Article
Should Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?

Are human and physical capital stocks allocated efficiently across countries? To answer this question, we need to differentiate misallocation from factor intensity differences. We use newly available estimates on factor shares from Monge-Naranjo, Santaeullia-Llopis, and Snchez (2019) to correctly measure the factor shares of physical and human capital for a large number of countries and periods. We find that the global efficiency losses of the misallocation of human capital are much more substantial than those of physical capital, amounting to 40 percent of the world?s output. Moreover, ...
Review , Volume 101 , Issue 4 , Pages 277-295

Working Paper
Interest Rate Volatility and Sudden Stops : An Empirical Investigation

Using a multi-country regime-switching vector autoregressive (VAR) model we document the existence of two regimes in the volatility of interest rates at which emerging economies borrow from international financial markets, and study the statistical relationship of such regimes with episodes of sudden stops. Periods of high volatility tend to be persistent and are associated with high interest rates, the occurrence of sudden stops in external financing, and large declines in economic activity. Most strikingly, we show that regime switches drive the countercyclicality of interest rates in ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1209

Working Paper
Capital goods trade, relative prices, and economic development

International trade in capital goods has quantitatively important effects on economic development through two channels: capital formation and aggregate TFP. We embed a multi country, multi sector Ricardian model of trade into a neoclassical growth framework. Our model matches several trade and development facts within a unified framework: the world distribution of capital goods production and trade, cross-country differences in investment rate and price of final goods, and cross-country equalization of price of capital goods. Reducing barriers to trade capital goods allows poor countries to ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 294

Newer need not be better: evaluating the Penn World Tables and the World Development Indicators using nighttime lights

Nighttime lights data are a measure of economic activity whose measurement error is plausibly independent of the errors of most conventional indicators. Therefore, we can use nighttime lights as an independent benchmark to assess existing measures of economic activity (Pinkovskiy and Sala-i-Martin 2016). We employ this insight to find out which vintages of the Penn World Tables (PWT) and of the World Development Indicators (WDI) better estimate true income per capita. We find that revisions of the PWT do not necessarily dominate their predecessors in terms of explaining nighttime lights (and ...
Staff Reports , Paper 778

Journal Article
Health and Economic Development from Cross-Country Perspectives

In this article, we provide a comprehensive overview of the role that health plays in economic develop­ment. We study cross-country differences in income and health and examine the underused value-of-­life and life-year gain measures. In particular, we compare two value-of-life measures, one based on life expectancy and lifetime utility, and the other based on adult mortality and life insurance data. We find that the perception and receptiveness of life insurance are likely better in countries at more advanced stages of economic development. The value-of-life measure based on life insurance ...
Review , Volume 102 , Issue 1 , Pages 79-98

Working Paper
Human Capital and Development Accounting: New Evidence from Wage Gains at Migration

We use new data on the pre- and post-migration wages of U.S. immigrants to measure the importance of human capital for development accounting. Wages increase at migration, but by less than half of the gap in GDP per worker. This finding implies that human capital accounts for a large share of cross-country income differences. Wage gains decline with education, consistent with imperfect substitution between skill types. We bound the human capital share in development accounting to between one-half and two-thirds; additional assumptions lead to an estimate of 60 percent. We also provide results ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 1

Working Paper
Capital Accumulation and Dynamic Gains from Trade

We compute welfare gains from trade in a dynamic, multicountry model with capital accumulation. We examine transition paths for 93 countries following a permanent, uniform, unanticipated trade liberalization. Both the relative price of investment and the investment rate respond to changes in trade frictions. Relative to a static model, the dynamic welfare gains in a model with balanced trade are three times as large. The gains including transition are 60 percent of those computed by comparing only steady states. Trade imbalances have negligible effects on the cross-country distribution of ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-5

Working Paper
The great housing boom of China

China's housing prices have been growing nearly twice as fast as national income in the past decade despite (1) a phenomenal rate of return to capital and (2) an alarmingly high vacancy rate. This paper interprets such a prolonged paradoxical housing boom as a rational bubble that emerges naturally from China's large-scale economic transition, featuring an exceptionally high rate of return to capital driven by massive resource reallocation. Because such primarily resource-reallocation-driven high capital returns are not sustainable in the long run, expectations of high future demand for ...
FRB Atlanta CQER Working Paper , Paper 2015-3

Working Paper
The S-curve: Understanding the Dynamics of Worldwide Financial Liberalization

Using a novel database of domestic financial reforms in 90 countries from 1973 to 2014, we document that global financial liberalization followed an S-curve path: reforms were slow and gradual in early periods, accelerated during the 1990s, and slowed down after 2000. We estimate a learning model that explains these dynamics. Policymakers updated their beliefs about the growth effects of financial reforms by learning from their own and other countries' experiences. Positive growth surprises in advanced economies helped accelerate belief updating worldwide, leading to the global wave of ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2021-19

Working Paper
Modernization and Discrete Measures of Democracy

We reassess the empirical evidence for a positive relationship between income and democracy, commonly known as the ?modernization hypothesis,? using discrete democracy measures. While discrete measures have been advocated in the literature, they pose estimation problems under fixed effects due to incidental parameter issues. We use two methods to address these issues, the bias-correction method of Fernandez-Val, which directly computes the marginal effects, and the parameterized Wooldridge method. Estimation under the Fernandez-Val method consistently indicates a statistically and ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2014-1


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