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O - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth

Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth

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Countering Sanctions: The Unequal Geographic Impact of Economic Sanctions in North Korea

This paper examines how an autocratic regime domestically counters the impact of economic sanctions. A stylized model predicts that, as long as non-compliance is not too costly, the autocrat redistributes resources to the more valuable urban area when sanctions increase. Empirically, I examine the case of North Korea. I use the satellite night lights data to create average luminosity for each one minute by one minute cell between 1992 and 2010. I construct a sanctions index that varies based on the international response to North Korea’s nuclear pursuit.

Unfinished Business: Historic Complementarities, Political Competition and Ethnic Violence in Gujarat

I examine how the historical legacies of inter-ethnic complementarity and competition interact with contemporary electoral competition in shaping patterns of ethnic violence. Using local comparisons within Gujarat, a single Indian state known for both its non-violent local traditions and for widespread ethnic pogroms in 2002, I provide evidence that where political competition was focused upon towns where ethnic groups have historically competed, there was a rise in the propensity for ethnic rioting and increased electoral support for the incumbent party complicit in the violence.

Gossip: Identifying Central Individuals in a Social Network

Is it possible, simply by asking a few members of a community, to identify individuals who are best placed to diffuse information? A model of diffusion shows how members of a community can, just by tracking gossip about others, identify those who are most central in a network according to “diffusion centrality” – a network centrality measure that predicts the diffusion of a piece of information seeded with a network member.

Networks and Manufacturing Firms in Africa: Results from a Randomized Field Experiment

We run a novel field experiment to link managers of African manufacturing firms. The experiment features exogenous link formation, exogenous seeding of information and exogenous assignment to treatment and placebo. We study the impact of the experiment on firm business practices outside of the lab. We find that the experiment successfully created new variation in social networks. We find some limited evidence of diffusion of management practices, particularly in terms of firm formalization and innovation.

Estimating the Impact of Means-Tested Subsidies under Treatment Externalities with Application to Anti-Malarial Bednets

Regular use of effective health-products such as insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITN) by a household benefits its neighbors by (a) reducing chances of infection and (b) raising aware ness about product-effectiveness, thereby increasing product-use. Due to their potential social benefits and high purchase price, causing free-riding and sub-optimal private procurement, such products may be subsidized in developing countries through means-testing.

Education, HIV, and Early Fertility: Experimental Evidence from Kenya

A seven-year randomized evaluation suggests education subsidies reduce adolescent girls’ dropout, pregnancy, and marriage but not sexually transmitted infection (STI). The government’s HIV curriculum, which stresses abstinence until marriage, does not reduce pregnancy or STI. Both programs combined reduce STI more, but cut dropout and pregnancy less, than education subsidies alone.

On the Shoulders of W. Arthur Lewis: In Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Lewis Model

This year, 2014, marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of Sir W. Arthur Lewis’s groundbreaking paper entitled “Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour”. Compared with most papers written to celebrate Lewis’s 1954 paper, which put their emphases on assessments of Lewis’s achievements, this one proposes new research to advance Lewis’s studies of the transfer of labor from agriculture.

Measuring the Growth Rates of Multi-Factor Productivity: Malmquist Index Approach

Lee (2014) provides the estimates of the Solow residual for 24 OECD countries. To complement these estimates in examining relative productivity of individual countries, this paper measures the growth rates of multi-factor productivity (MFP) for the same sample of 24 OECD countries using the Malmquist index approach. The Malmquist index approach is expected to address some of the limitations of the growth accounting approach by relying on the concept of the best-practice frontier.

Government Subsidized R&D and Innovation Outputs: An Empirical Analysis on China’s Innofund Program

This study examines the effects of Innovation Fund for Small and Medium Technology-based Firms (Innofund), one of the largest Chinese government programs that support corporate R&D activities on corporate innovation outputs. We study the general effects of Innofund on innovation. By exploring institutional variations over time and across regions, we also examine the effect of institutions on this government R&D program on firms’ innovation outputs.

Business Literacy and Development: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Rural Mexico

A large share of the poor in developing countries run small enterprises, often earning low incomes. This paper explores whether the poor performance of businesses can be explained by a lack of basic business skills. We randomized the offer of a free, 48-hour business skills course to female entrepreneurs in rural Mexico. We find that those assigned to treatment earn higher profits, have larger revenues, serve a greater number of clients, are more likely to use formal accounting techniques, and more likely to be registered with the government.


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