Urbanisation in India is taking many twists and turns. Organised manufacturing is moving out of urban areas, while unorganised manufacturing is transitioning towards urban areas. As the fourth greatest energy consumer in the world, how the country manages this ongoing industrialisation and urbanisation process will have important environmental implications. This column looks at the relationship between growth, geography, and energy efficiency in manufacturing in India. Electricity consumption per unit of output has declined in urban and rural areas, but these overall trends mask substantial variation between states and substantial potential for further efficiency improvements in energy-intensive industries.
Ejaz Ghani, Arti Grover Goswami, William Kerr, Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - 00:00
James Feyrer, Erin T. Mansur, Bruce Sacerdote, Monday, November 16, 2015 - 00:00
Fracking has driven an oil and natural gas boom in the US over the past decade. This column examines the impact these mining activities have had on local and regional economies. US counties enjoy significant economic benefits, including increased wages and new job creation. These effects grow as the geographic radius is extended to include neighbouring areas in the region. The results suggest that the fracking boom provided some insulation for these areas during the Great Recession, and lowered national unemployment by as much as 0.5%.
Ross Levine, Chen Lin, Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 00:00
Labour market regulations have important implications for both the incidence of cross-border acquisitions, and the outcomes for acquiring firms. This column explores how variations in labour regulations between countries affect cross-border acquisitions and subsequent firm performance. For a sample of 50 countries, firms are found to enjoy larger returns when they acquire a target in a country with weaker labour regulations than the acquirer’s home country.
Mercedes Delgado, Christian Ketels, Michael Porter, Scott Stern, Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 00:00
Coen Teulings, Friday, July 11, 2014 - 00:00
The financial crisis and the Great Recession have led to calls for more economic history in economic education. This column argues for a much broader use of history in economics courses, as a device for teaching both the logic and the empirical relevance of economics. A proposed curriculum would include the rise of agriculture, urbanisation, war, the rule of law, and demography.
Enrico Spolaore, Romain Wacziarg, Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 00:00
There is now widespread agreement that ‘deep’ history matters for comparative development. Recent research has shown that ancestry – the transmission of genetic and cultural traits across generations – matters more than the history of geographic regions. This column argues that long-term divergences in inherited traits can create barriers to the diffusion of technology. The greater a population’s genetic distance to the population on the technological frontier, the lower its relative income will be. Development policies should aim at reducing barriers to exchange and communication.
Alberto Alesina, Stelios Michalopoulos, Elias Papaioannou, Sunday, November 18, 2012 - 00:00
This paper explores the consequences and origins of contemporary differences in well-being across ethnic groups within countries. The authors show that ethnic inequality is strongly inversely related to per capita income, and that differences in geographic endowments across ethnic homelands explain a sizable portion of contemporary ethnic inequality. This deeply rooted inequality in geographic attributes across ethnic regions is also negatively related to comparative development.
Diego Comin, Mikhail Dmitriev, Esteban Rossi-Hansberg , Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 00:00
This paper studies empirically technology diffusion across countries and over time, finding significant evidence that technology diffuses slower to locations that are farther away from adoption leaders. The authors document the significant role that geography plays in determining technology diffusion across countries.
John C Bluedorn, Akos Valentinyi, Michael Vlassopoulos, Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - 00:00
Hot countries tend to be poorer. This column uses the cross-century, cross-country variation in climatic temperatures to estimate the effects of historic temperature upon current incomes. The negative relationship between current temperature and income appears due to temperature variations in the 18th and 19th centuries. That suggests that the consequences of climate change may be felt for a very long time.
Nathan Nunn, Diego Puga, Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 00:00
African nations with ‘bad’ terrain suffered less from the slave trade. More than a century after the slave trade ended, the protective benefits of ruggedness still outweigh its contemporary economic disadvantages when it comes to GDP per capita.