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Chapter 6 focuses on the 1960s internationalisation of the economy and the way in which, in the context of the Cold War, chemistry became a ‘neutral’ subject that contributed to the non-democratic modernisation of the country, again with major religious alliances. The chapter explores the apolitical, technocratic role of chemists and discusses how they undertook academic reforms and searched for international alliances in their own professional interests. It also situates a good part of that apolitical discourse in the context of the new international corporate chemical industry, which was established throughout the country from the early 1960s onwards. The technocratic educational reforms focused on the economic growth and industrial needs of ‘developmentalism’. Although in public they often enforced the neutral status of science, many chemists had no qualms about expressing their enthusiasm for the regime. Chemistry and technocracy can be approached, in particular, through the prominent role played by chemist Manuel Lora Tamayo as Franco’s minister, scientific expert and educational reformer.
This chapter focuses on intensifying urbanization as a global phenomenon. Each year, the equivalent of two cities the size of Tokyo are built; one in six urban dwellers live in slums; and we are heading towards that black figure of 2°C global warming (the subject of the next chapter). The twenty-first century has been already called the ‘Urban Century’, supposedly leaving behind the Century of Nation-States (the twentieth century) and the Century of Empires (the nineteenth century) as prior dominant forms. While it is certainly true that urbanization has become one of the dominant global trends, this prognosis is hyperbolic, missing the tensions between different levels and forms of governance. Cities across the world are crossed by global processes of ecological pressure, economic fragility, political contestation, and cultural questioning. All of this means that the current approach to ‘global cities’ is reductive and skewed. Here, we confront a shibboleth in scholarly writing—not only has the urbanization of the world been a long-term if massively accelerating process, but it should also be said that cities have long been the locus of globalization processes.
Few concepts in the history of twentieth-century history proved as important as economic growth. Scholars such as Charles Maier, Robert Collins, and Timothy Mitchell have analysed how the notion that an entity called ‘the economy’ (defined by metrics such as Gross National Product, or GNP) could be made to grow came to define economic thought and policy worldwide. Yet there has been far less attention paid to the fact that neither growth nor GNP went without challenge during their emergence and global diffusion. This article focuses on one set of growth critics: those who advocated for ‘social indicators’ in international development policy during the 1960s and 1970s. It advances three overlapping arguments: that advocates for social indicators harkened back to early twentieth-century transnational efforts to make workers’ ‘standard of living’ the primary statistical framework for policy-makers; that, while supporters of social indicators expressed frustration with technocratic governance, their reform efforts nevertheless represented technocratic critiques of modernity; and finally, that one of the major reform efforts, Morris David Morris’s advocacy on behalf of the ‘Physical Quality of Life Index’ (PQLI), as an alternative measure of national wellbeing, ultimately struggled to challenge the GNP growth paradigm, and yet proved influential in spawning subsequent research into new measures and approaches to development.
We investigate the sectoral and the distributional effects of a food subsidy program, where food consumption in the economy is subsidized by taxing the manufacturing good producers. In a two-agent model comprising of farmer and industrialist households, agents consume food to accumulate health. Simulations indicate that while the subsidy program increases food output and agents’ health both in the short run and the long run, manufacturing output and aggregate real GDP appear to fall in the short run and increase only in the long run. The program does not make both agents better off and exhibits social welfare gains for a limited range of subsidies.
Among the many disruptions caused by artificial intelligence (AI) and other digital technologies (including automation, cyberwarfare, surveillance, loss of privacy, fake news, infrastructure vulnerability), the effects on development pathways are likely to be significant and complex. AI will enable low-income countries to leapfrog in several sectors, including e-governance, e-finance, e-health, and e-education. Yet AI will also lead to automation, reducing the demand for labor, especially unskilled labor. Labor-intensive sectors such as apparel will provide fewer jobs, and lower export earnings. Development strategies will need to adjust accordingly.
Many studies have stressed that human activities may cause the extinction of single species. Anthropogenic activities, however, may affect not only the number of individuals of single species, but also their behavior. To investigate this issue, we propose a growth model in which agents may care not only for the species’ survival but also for the typicality of their behavior. We assume that the environmental defensive expenditures can protect the species avoiding their extinction, but can induce the species to modify their behavior. Results emerging from the model suggest that if the social planner cares for typicality of species behavior, then an infinite growth process may no longer be optimal. Numerical simulations, moreover, show the possible existence of a trade-off between number and behavior of the species, leading the system to a high number of species’ members that behave in an atypical way or to few members behaving very typically.
This study explores the welfare effects of patent protection in a Romer-type expanding variety model in which R&D and capital accumulation are both engines of growth. It shows that the comparison between the productivity of R&D and that of capital plays an important role in the welfare analysis. When the relative productivity of R&D compared to capital is high (low), social welfare takes an inverted-U shape for (is decreasing in) the strength of patent protection, and the welfare-maximizing degree of patent protection is no greater than (identical to) the growth-maximizing degree. Moreover, the model is calibrated to the US economy and the numerical results support these welfare implications.
Based on an unexplored data set on disasters in Brazil, the current study shows that the direct damage of natural disasters reduces the GDP growth rate of municipal economies in Ceará state, Northeast Brazil. The agriculture and service sectors are the most affected economic sectors, while the industrial sector remains unaffected by environmental shocks. Economic growth is particularly responsive to the occurrence of large natural disasters that lead municipalities to declare a state of emergency or public calamity. Regarding public policies, water supply infrastructure increases the resilience of the output growth of services to droughts, whereas disaster microinsurance helps to mitigate the effects of droughts and floods on the economic growth of agriculture in a Brazilian state where family farming is predominant and highly vulnerable to natural disasters.
This article shows that neither stock markets nor commercial banks had a significant impact on the UK's economic growth from 1850 to 1913. These results are based on a new dataset on paid-in capital of securities listed on the UK's stock exchanges, which is analysed using a vector autoregression with time-varying parameters. Econometric results also indicate that the growth of the banking sector and the capital markets was, to a significant extent, driven by factors other than domestic economic growth.
In this paper, we study the relationship between changes in the world interest rate and within-country inequality during the 1985–2005 period in which the world interest rate sharply declined. In line with the predictions of the seminal model of Galor and Zeira [Income distribution and macroeconomics. Review of Economic Studies 60, 35–52], the analysis suggests that the decrease in the world interest rate is associated with a decrease in inequality in poor countries and an increase in inequality in rich ones.
Unlike most existing studies on the endogenous institutions, literature on theoretical growth has traditionally considered institutions as exogenous. In this paper, a learn-by-doing-based growth model is adopted and integrated with endogenous institutions to study how economic agents’ incentives engage in institutional improvements or exploit institutional imperfections. From maximization of identical agent utility, the economic growth model includes capital, labor, technology, and institutions. The study is to analyze the effect of institutions on the stability of equilibrium, balanced economic growth path, and convergence rate in the process of economic growth. It is concluded that, firstly, improving institutions is a decisive factor for China’s high economic growth rate for the past years; secondly, improving institutions can increase the capital stock per unit of effective labor in steady state; thirdly, imperfect institutions can explain income difference among countries; and finally, technology plays a key role only under the conditions adapting to institutions.
Even for the standard skill-biased technological change (SBTC) literature, the generic rise in the skill premium in the face of the relative increase in skilled workers since the 1980s seems a little puzzling. We develop a general equilibrium SBTC growth model that allows the dominance of either the price channel or the market-size channel mechanism through which network spillovers affect the technological-knowledge bias and, thus, the paths of intra-country wage inequality. The proposed mechanisms can accommodate facts not explained by the earlier literature.
This special issue contributes to the natural resource economics literature by shining a light on the specific challenges and opportunities faced by developing countries that have recently become dependent on natural resources or are particularly exposed to climate change. It is composed of five studies on countries from all regions of the developing world, involving a variety of natural resources and policy issues. Four of the five studies illustrate how computable general equilibrium models are particularly well-suited, despite their relatively limited past use, to the analysis of natural resources. All five studies are led by researchers based in these countries, providing unique insights into the specific local context. The studies underscore the extreme vulnerability that the introduction of significant natural resource revenues and climate change can create in developing countries. They also show how the choice of appropriate policies to avoid the resource curse varies according to country-specific economic conditions.
It is widely accepted that law is essential for economic growth. Prominent economists in China have repeatedly called for strengthening the legal system so that the economy can continue to grow. Nevertheless, the fact that China has been able to achieve rapid economic growth while the law is weak seems to cast doubt on the significance of law. It is even suggested that China is a counter-example to the importance of law and, more provocatively, it is argued that China’s economy grew rapidly not “in spite of,” but “because of,” weak law. To gain a richer and deeper understanding of law in China’s economic growth, this paper conducts a case-study of China’s stock market by examining its growth history and legal development. It is found that China has built from scratch a complex legal and regulatory system governing the stock market, which actually played a critical role in supporting the growth of the market. However, the trajectory of development was law following market growth, which was in turn caused by ideological and political liberalization. On the other hand, the market did not grow to its full potential and currently it faces serious challenges to fulfil the task of supporting the development of the economy, and the fundamental reason is political and ideological restrictions; likewise, the improvement of law for investor protection has not been sustained, for which similarly politics and ideologies offer an explanation. The experience of the stock market suggests that, while law is indispensable for sustaining China’s economic growth, political and ideological liberalization is fundamental in that it is not only necessary to free up the economy so that it can continue to grow in the first place, but also crucial to further strengthening the whole legal system.
A better understanding of Thailand's contemporary malaise needs a perspective that combines political and economic aspects without losing sight of history. This article applies the concept of path dependence to examine how pre-1997 catch-up industrialisation shaped the post-crisis trajectory. It argues that the catch-up process has left a number of important legacies, especially the symbiotic relationship between the military, banking conglomerates, and technocrats; dominant growth narrative with a focus on macroeconomic stability; and overly centralised and bloated state structures. These legacies have shaped the strategies and legitimacies of today's political actors and rendered the pursuit of growth increasingly contradictory to maintaining order.
We analyze the simplest possible model of endogenous growth to account for the role of financial development. In our setting, financial development affects productivity and determines the amount of resources subtracted to capital investment. We show that under very general assumptions, the relation between economic growth and financial depth is nonmonotonic, and eventually bell-shaped. We empirically assess our results in a framework that allows to distinguish between long-run and short-run effects. We establish a cointegrating relation and derive the long-run elasticities of per capita gross domestic product (GDP) with respect to employment, the physical capital stock, and financial depth–relying on linear as well as nonlinear models for the finance-growth nexus. We employ the results of the first step estimation to specify an error–correction model and find that there is strong evidence for a nonlinear relationship between financial depth and per capita GDP, consistently with what was predicted by our theoretical model.
This study introduces financial intermediaries into the Schumpeterian growth model developed by Aghion et al. (2005, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 120, pp. 173–222). They collect deposits from households, provide funds for entrepreneurial projects, and monitor the entrepreneurs. I consider an economy with moral hazard problems: entrepreneurs can hide the result of a successful innovation and thereby avoid repaying financial intermediaries if the latter do not monitor entrepreneurial performance. I analyze the effects of financial intermediaries' activities on technological progress and economic growth in such an economy. I show that financial intermediaries need to monitor entrepreneurs in an economy where the legal protection of creditors is not strong enough. Such monitoring can resolve the moral hazard problem; however, it does not always promote technological innovation, because it could increase the cost of entrepreneurial innovation and thus reduce the amount invested for innovation. I also examine how monitoring by financial intermediaries affects the welfare of individuals through the stringency of financial markets.
This study presents an overlapping-generations model featuring capital accumulation, collective wage-bargaining, and probabilistic voting over fiscal policy. The study characterizes a Markov-perfect political equilibrium of the voting game within and across generations, and it derives the following results. First, the greater bargaining power of unions lowers the capital growth rate and creates a positive correlation between unemployment and public debt. Second, an increase in the political power of elderly persons lowers the growth rate and shifts government expenditure from unemployed persons to elderly ones. Third, prohibiting debt finance increases the growth rate and benefits future generations; however, it worsens the state of present-day employed and unemployed persons.
This paper explores the impact of gender differences in the desire for sex and the distribution of power in the household on the onset of the demographic transition and the take-off to growth. Depending on the price and efficacy of modern contraceptives, the gender wage gap, and female bargaining power, the economy assumes one of two possible equilibria. At the traditional equilibrium, contraceptives are not used, fertility is high and education and growth are low. At the modern equilibrium, contraceptives are used, fertility is low and further declining with increasing income, and education and growth are high. The theory motivates a “wanted fertility reversal”: At the traditional equilibrium, men prefer more children than women, whereas at the modern equilibrium, men prefer fewer children than women. Female empowerment causes households to provide more education for their children and leads to an earlier uptake of modern contraceptives and an earlier onset of the demographic transition and the take-off to modern growth.