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World Productivity: 1996 - 2014
We account for the sources of world productivity growth, using data for more than 36 industries and 40 major economies from 1996 to 2014, explicitly taking into account changes in the misallocation of resources in labor, capital, and product markets. Productivity growth in advanced economies slowed but emerging markets grew more quickly which kept global productivity growth relatively constant until around 2010. After that, productivity growth in all major regions slowed. Much of the volatility in world productivity growth reflects shifts in the misallocation of labor across countries and ...
A Comparison of Living Standards Across the States of America
We use an expected utility framework to examine how living standards vary across the United States and how each state's living standards have evolved over time. Our welfare measure accounts for cross-state variations in mortality, consumption, education, inequality, and cost of living. We find that per capita income is a good indicator of living standards, with a correlation of 0.80 across states. Living standards in most states, however, appear closer to those in the richest states than their difference in per capita income would suggest. Whereas high-income states benefit from higher life ...
Institutions and return predictability in oil-exporting countries
We study whether stock market returns in oil-exporting countries can be predicted by oil price changes, and we investigate the link between predictability and the quality of each country's institutions. Returns are predictable for half the countries we consider, and predictability is stronger when institutional quality is lower. We argue that the relation between predictability and institutional quality reflects the preference of countries with weaker institutions to consume oil windfalls locally rather than smooth out the impact of windfalls by, for instance, investing the proceeds through a ...
The Visible Hand: The Role of Government in China’s Long-Awaited Industrial Revolution
China is undergoing its long-awaited industrial revolution. There is no shortage of commentary and opinion on this dramatic period, but few have attempted to provide a coherent, in-depth, politicaleconomic framework that explains the fundamental mechanisms behind China?s rapid industrialization. This article reviews the New Stage Theory of economic development put forth by Wen (2016a). It illuminates the critical sequence of developmental stages since the reforms enacted by Deng Xiaoping in 1978: namely, small-scale commercialized agricultural production, proto-industrialization in the ...
Beveridge Curve Shifts across Countries since the Great Recession
We discuss the magnitude of and reasons for the shift in the Beveridge curve in the U.S. since the Great Recession and argue that skill mismatch and the extension of unemployment insurance benefits likely have played a nontrivial role in this shift. We then introduce a method to estimate fitted Beveridge curves for other OECD countries for which data on vacancies and employment by job tenure are available. We show that Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the U.K. also experienced rightward shifts in their Beveridge curves. We argue that the shift in the first three countries is due to similar ...