Will Demographic Headwinds Hobble China's Economy?
China's population is only growing at a 0.5 percent annual rate, its working-age cohort (ages 15 to 64) is shrinking, and the share of the population that is 65 and over is rising rapidly. Together, these trends will act as a significant restraint on the country?s economic growth. Nonetheless, there are reasons to conclude that growth will remain relatively strong going forward, most notably because the ongoing shift from rural to urban jobs will continue to boost labor productivity for some time to come.
The Costs of (sub)Sovereign Default Risk: Evidence from Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico's unique characteristics as a U.S. territory allow us to examine the channels through which (sub)sovereign default risk can have real effects on the macroeconomy. Post-2012, during the period of increased default probabilities, the cointegrating relationship between real activity in Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland breaks down and Puerto Rico spirals into a significant decline. We exploit the cross-industry variation in default risk exposure to identify the impact of changes in default risk on employment. The evidence suggests that there are significantly higher employment growth ...
Inflation, Volatility, and Growth
This paper re-examines the relationship between inflation, inflation volatility and growth using cross-country panel data for the past 30 years. With regard to the level of inflation, we find that in contrast to current findings which are based on cross-sectional time-average regression comparisons, exploiting the time dimension of the data reveals a strong negative correlation between inflation and income growth for all but very low inflation countries. To examine the role of inflation uncertainty on growth, we use intra-year inflation data to construct an annual measure of inflation ...
Estimating Dynamic Panel Data Models: A Practical Guide for Macroeconomists
We use a Monte Carlo approach to investigate the performance of several different methods designed to reduce the bias of the estimated coefficients for dynamic panel data models estimated with the longer, narrower panels typical of macro data. We find that the bias of the least squares dummy variable approach can be significant, even when the time dimension of the panel is as large as 30. For panels with small time dimensions, we find a corrected least squares dummy variable estimator to be the best choice. However, as the time dimension of the panel increases, the computationally simpler ...
Do Low Human Capital Coefficients Make Sense? A Puzzle and Some Answers
I develop a new measure of human capital stock that has two advantages over previous measures. First, it allows for varying costs of education across time, countries, and level of education. Second, the unit of measurement is dollars, which allows comparison of human capital stocks with other macro- economic variables, including national income (GDP) and physical capital stocks. Using cross-country panel regression analysis, I find that human capital accumulation accounts for a relatively small (about ten percent) of per-capita GDP growth. I further find that, unlike physical capital, the ...
State Capacity and Public Goods: Institutional Change, Human Capital, and Growth in Early Modern Germany
What are the origins and consequences of the state as a provider of public goods? We study legal reforms that established mass public education and increased state capacity in German cities during the 1500s. These fundamental changes in public goods provision occurred where ideological competition during the Protestant Reformation interacted with popular politics at the local level. We document that cities that formalized public goods provision in the 1500s began differentially producing and attracting upper tail human capital and grew to be significantly larger in the long-run. We study ...
Patents to Products: Product Innovation and Firm Dynamics
We study the relationship between patents and actual product innovation in the market, and how this relationship varies with firms’ market share. We use textual analysis to create a new data set that links patents to products of firms in the consumer goods sector. We find that patent filings are positively associated with subsequent product innovation by firms, but at least half of product innovation and growth comes from firms that never patent. We also find that market leaders use patents differently from followers. Market leaders have lower product innovation rates, though they rely on ...
Macroeconomic Effects of China's Financial Policies
The Chinese economy has undergone three major phases: the 1978?97 period marked as the SOE-led economy, the 1998?2015 phase as the investment-driven economy, and the new normal economy since 2016. All three economies have been shaped by the government financial policies, defined as a set of credit policy, monetary policy, and regulatory policy. We analyze the macroeconomic effects of these financial policies throughout the three phases and provide the stylized facts to substantiate our analysis. The stylized facts differ qualitatively across different phases or economies. We argue that the ...
Germs, Social Networks, and Growth
Does the pattern of social connections between individuals matter for macroeconomic outcomes? If so, where do these differences come from and how large are their effects? Using network analysis tools, we explore how different social network structures affect technology diffusion and thereby a country's rate of growth. The correlation between high-diffusion networks and income is strongly positive. But when we use a model to isolate the effect of a change in social networks, the effect can be positive, negative, or zero. The reason is that networks diffuse ideas and disease. Low-diffusion ...
An Assignment Model of Knowledge Diffusion and Income Inequality
Randomness in individual discovery disperses productivities, whereas learning from others keeps productivities together. Long-run growth and persistent earnings inequality emerge when these two mechanisms for knowledge accumulation are combined. This paper considers an economy in which those with more useful knowledge can teach others, with competitive markets assigning students to teachers. In equilibrium, students with an ability to learn quickly are assigned to teachers with the most productive knowledge. This sorting on ability implies large differences in earnings distributions ...