Two-sided Market, R&D and Payments System Evolution
It takes many years for more efficient electronic payments to be widely used, and the fees that merchants (consumers) pay for using those services are increasing (decreasing) over time. We address these puzzles by studying payments system evolution with a dynamic model in a two-sided market setting. We calibrate the model to the U.S. payment card data, and conduct welfare and policy analysis. Our analysis shows that the market power of electronic payment networks plays important roles in explaining the slow adoption and asymmetric price changes, and the welfare impact of regulations may vary ...
“Free” Internet Content: Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and the Sources of Economic Growth
The Internet has evolved from Web 1.0, with static web pages and limited interactivity, to Web 2.0, with dynamic content that relies on user engagement. This change increased production costs significantly, but the price charged for Internet content has generally remained the same: zero. Because no transaction records the ?purchase? of this content, its value is not reflected in measured growth and productivity. To capture the contribution of the ?free? Internet, we model the provision of ?free? content as a barter transaction between the content users and the content creators, and we value ...
Technology Adoption and Leapfrogging: Racing for Mobile Payments
Paying with a mobile phone is a cutting-edge innovation transforming the global payments industry. However, some advanced economies like the U.S. are lagging behind in mobile payment adoption. We construct a dynamic model with sequential payment innovations to explain this puzzle, which uncovers how advanced economies' past success in adopting card-payment technology holds them back in the mobile-payment race. Our calibrated model matches the cross-country adoption patterns of card and mobile payments and also explains why advanced and developing countries favor different mobile payment ...
What Is the Equity-Efficiency Tradeoff when Maintaining Wells in Rural Haiti?
This paper quantitatively compares water infrastructure interventions that prioritize equity with those that prioritize efficiency. The community-based model developed by Haiti Outreach (HO) trains communities to operate and maintain wells, and has clear effi ciency gains over the status quo aid model in Haiti that gives communities wells: HO?s wells were 8.7 percentage points more likely to be functioning after one year than similarly-constructed wells managed under the status quo model. Because HO?s model includes user fees, which raise concerns about equity, I quantify the ...
The Making of an Economic Superpower―Unlocking China’s Secret of Rapid Industrialization
The rise of China is no doubt the most important event in world economic history since the Industrial Revolution. The institutional theory of development based on a dichotomy of extractive vs. inclusive political institutions cannot explain China?s rise. This article argues that only a radical reinterpretation of the history of the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the West (as incorrectly portrayed by the institutional theory) can fully explain China?s growth miracle and why the determined rise of China is unstoppable. Conversely, China?s spectacular and rapid transformation from an ...
Agglomeration and innovation
Draft chapter for the forthcoming Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Vols. 5A and 5B This paper reviews academic research on the connections between agglomeration and innovation. The authors first describe the conceptual distinctions between invention and innovation. They then discuss how these factors are frequently measured in the data and note some resulting empirical regularities. Innovative activity tends to be more concentrated than industrial activity, and the authors discuss important findings from the literature about why this is so. The authors highlight the traits of ...
Expanded GDP for Welfare Measurement in the 21st Century
The information revolution currently underway has changed the economy in ways that are hard to measure using conventional GDP procedures. The information available to consumers has increased dramatically as a result of the Internet and its applications, and new mobile communication devices have greatly increased the speed and reach of its accessibility. An individual now has an unprecedented amount of information on which to base consumption choices, and the “free” nature of the information provided means that the resulting benefits largely bypass GDP and accrue directly to consumers. ...
Barriers to Creative Destruction: Large Firms and Nonproductive Strategies
This working paper reviews recent empirical evidence on large firms and nonproductivestrategies that hinder creative destruction and reallocation. The focus is on three types ofnonproductive strategies: political connections, nonproductive patenting, and anticompetitiveacquisitions. Across different contexts using granular micro data sets, we overwhelmingly see that asfirms gain market share, they increasingly rely on nonproductive strategies but reduce theirproductive, innovation-based strategies. I also discuss theoretical channels, aggregate implications,and potentials for some policies.
A Tax Plan for Endogenous Innovation
In times when elevated government debt raises concerns about dimmer global growth prospects, we ask: How can the government provide incentives for innovation in a fiscally sustainable way? We address this question by examining the Ramsey problem of finding optimal tax and subsidy schemes in a model in which growth is endogenously sustained by risky innovation. We characterize the shadow value of growth and entry in the innovation sector. We find that a profit tax is required to replicate the first-best in order to balance the externalities associated with innovative activity. At the ...
International R&D Spillovers and Asset Prices
We study the international propagation of long-run risk in the context of a general equilibrium model with endogenous growth. Innovation and international diffusion of technologies are the channels at the core of our mechanism. A calibrated version of the model matches several asset pricing and macroeconomic quantity moments, alleviating some of the puzzles highlighted in the international macro-finance literature. Our model predicts that country-pairs that share more R&D have less volatile exchange rates and more correlated stock market returns. Using data from a sample of 19 developed ...