Demography and economics: Look past the past

Charles A.E. Goodhart, Philipp Erfurth 04 November 2014

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Introduction

Our history is our database. When seeking to peer dimly into the future, our normal response is to examine what happened in (similar) past episodes and then to extrapolate those outcomes into the future. This assumption, that the future will mimic the past, is hard-wired into almost all our forecasting exercises, from the most simple to the econometrically and technically most complex.

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Topics:  Global economy Labour markets

Tags:  forecasting, demographics, Ageing, fertility, globalisation, savings, consumption, life cycle, old age, healthcare, Retirement, investment, interest rates, labour productivity, technology, technology transfer

A new look at global growth convergence and divergence

Michele Battisti, Gianfranco di Vaio, Joseph Zeira 09 January 2014

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The phenomenon of modern economic growth is fairly new. It started less than two centuries ago, but it changed our lives significantly. One of the main changes is that income gaps between countries have greatly increased. One of the main questions that concern economists who study economic growth is whether these gaps are still growing, or countries are instead converging to the same level of income. This question is empirical, but it has important theoretical implications, as our main growth theories predict convergence between countries.

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Topics:  Development Frontiers of economic research

Tags:  growth, convergence, technology transfer, divergence

Long-term barriers to growth

Enrico Spolaore, Romain Wacziarg 03 October 2013

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Students of comparative development have turned their focus to factors rooted deeper and deeper in history.

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Topics:  Development Economic history

Tags:  development, growth, geography, Culture, technology transfer, ancestry

Offshoring and its effects on innovation in emerging economies

Ursula Fritsch, Holger Görg 23 September 2013

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Most empirical studies of the impact of outsourcing on firms look at industrialised countries. However, outsourcing is also common in emerging economies, and firms in middle-income countries split up their production processes similarly to firms in developed countries (see figures in Miroudot et al. (2009) on trade in intermediates). Recent research analyses the benefits to firms from outsourcing, focusing mainly on productivity and innovation effects. The latter are particularly important, since innovation is a key determinant of productivity improvements and – ultimately – growth.

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Topics:  International trade Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  R&D, offshoring, innovation, international trade, emerging markets, outsourcing, technology transfer

International business travel and innovation: Face-to-face is crucial

Nune Hovhannisyan, Wolfgang Keller 20 April 2010

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The high costs of international travel pose important questions about the value of short-term cross-border labour movements, specifically business travel. In the world of the Internet, e-mail, and video conferencing, why is business travel still so prevalent? Recent surveys show that business executives prefer face-to-face communication over other means of communication, as it plays a pivotal role in negotiating deals, selling products, and building long-term relationships with clients and co-workers (Harvard Business Review 2009, Forbes 2009).

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Topics:  Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  innovation, technology transfer, flight restrictions, cross-border travel

Climate change and developing country growth

Michael Spence 11 September 2009

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The climate change debate is extraordinarily complex because the issue is. Most agree that there remains considerable uncertainty about long-term temperature shifts.

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Topics:  Development Environment

Tags:  growth, climate change, developing countries, technology transfer

The limits to offshoring

Wolfgang Keller, Stephen Yeaple 17 March 2009

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Offshoring is the movement of jobs to other countries. While this may raise overall welfare, it means lower employment opportunities and possibly lower wages domestically. Offshoring is the major cause for the decline in self-reported work life quality in many countries. For example, in the US there are six workers that view offshoring negatively for every one worker that sees it as a positive influence (Pew Center 2006). Such a negative impression makes public policy backlash likely. No less important for the policy debate is offshoring’s prevalence.

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Topics:  International trade Labour markets

Tags:  offshoring, trade costs, technology transfer, multinational companies