On the 19th of October, we hosted the fifth meeting on the ‘Theory and Empirics of Inequality, Poverty and Mobility’, at the QMUL premises on Charterhouse Square, London. There was a large spread of theoretical and applied issues addressed in the six papers presented. In the morning three papers discussed issues related to the measurement of mobility and poverty, with applications to the EU, Mexico and with global poverty data, while in the afternoon three papers discussed the impact of mining on individual well-being in Sub-Saharan Africa, how social connections and financial incentives affect productivity in tasks that require coordination among workers via an experiment in a garment factory in India, and a final paper evaluating the effect of aid on conflict in Indonesia.
On Friday, 9th of November the Centre for Globalisation Research (CGR) of the School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London is hosting the annual Globalisation Seminar and workshop on Political Economy and Economic Development organised by Dr. Caterina Gennaioli (CGR Director).
This Monday 1st of October, Dr. Ugo Troiano will be presenting his research. Dr Troiano works at the University of Michigan as an Assistant Professor of Economics. He is also a Faculty Research Fellow NBER in Political Economy and Public Economics, Research Associate at the Office of Tax Policy Research and Faculty Associate in the Institute for Social Research CPS.
This paper shows that social capital increases economic growth by raising government investment in human capital. We present a model of stochastic endogenous growth with imperfect political agency. Only some people correctly anticipate the future returns to current spending on public education. Greater social discussion of information makes this knowledge more widespread among voters. As a result, we find it alleviates myopic political incentives to underinvest in human capital, and it helps the selection of politicians that ensure high productivity in public education. Through this mechanism, we show that social capital raises the equilibrium growth rate of output and reduces its volatility. We provide evidence consistent with the predictions of our model. Individuals with higher social capital are more informed about their government. Countries with higher social capital spend a higher share of output on public education.
A previous post outlined a number of major inventions (or macro-inventions) of the eighteenth century that were the basis for the inventions of the nineteenth century that propelled productivity growth. These innovations, according to Robert Allen, would not have taken place in Britain in the absence of cheap coal deposits. Another unique factor driving the innovations was Britain’s expensive labour. Labour was expensive in Britain, and economic historians have traced the origins of the high wages back to the Black Death plague (in the 14th century) that reduced the working age population significantly. Moreover, Britain’s commercial success in the international economy played a role in the growth of wages.
The British Industrial Revolution was a watershed moment in the history of humanity; an important result of which was an irreversible positive turning point in the living standards. There have been a number of explanations to what facilitated the transition from low to modern growth in the eighteenth century. In a series of brief posts, I will document the two of the many explanations put forward by scholars Robert Allen and Joe Mokyr. Both the scholars put technological progress at the centre-stage, but they differ in their views on what provided impetus to the technological progress.
By Brigitte Granville and Vladimir Mau
Despite Western sanctions and oil-price volatility, Russia is currently on sturdier economic footing than most of its critics ever could have imagined just a few years ago. But while prudent fiscal and monetary policies have laid the groundwork for long-term sustainable growth, the government must resist the temptation of short-term stimulus.
Russia has a way of illustrating universal problems. Consider the goal of economic development. Political leaders have an interest in delivering economic prosperity very quickly, and yet the policies needed to enable sustainable long-term growth can take quite a while to bear fruit. The political and policy clocks are rarely synchronized.
Since 2014, I have coordinated and run an annual workshop on theoretical and empirical research on the analysis of poverty, inequality and mobility, generously supported by the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary University of London.
Following the 2016 workshop, several of the presented papers formed the basis for an edited volume of the journal Research on Economic Inequality (Bandyopadhyay 2018). The ten contributions address issues that are at the forefront of the discussion on how we measure poverty, inequality and welfare and how we use such measurements to devise policies to deliver social mobility. While some of the papers deal with theoretical issues that question current methods on how we measure poverty, inequality and welfare, some of them use novel techniques and datasets to investigate the dynamics of poverty and welfare, with special reference to developing countries.