Understanding Piketty: Merit and rent in a growing economy

Enrico Minelli 19 December 2014

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The publication of Capital in the 21st Century (Piketty 2014) has put the issue of growth and redistribution back at the centre of the economic debate, both in academic and in policy-oriented discussion.

Almost every commentator has praised Piketty and his coauthors for the painstaking work of data collection on the long-run evolution of income and wealth. Their interpretation of the data, and even more so their predictions of further trends have, understandably, given rise to interesting debates.

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Topics:  Poverty and income inequality Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  growth, Inequality, endogenous growth, capital share, innovation, saving, rent

Offshoring and skill-biased technical change

Daron Acemoglu, Gino Gancia, Fabrizio Zilibotti 30 September 2014

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Offshoring, the demand for skill, and biased innovations

The rapid rise of offshoring has been one of the most visible trends in the US labour market over the last three decades. Despite its prevalence, the implications for wages and skill premia are still debated (see, for instance, Grossman and Rossi-Hansberg 2008 and Baldwin and Robert-Nicoud 2014).

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Topics:  International trade Labour markets Poverty and income inequality Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  offshoring, skill-biased technical change, Inequality, wages, technological progress, innovation

Endowments for war in 1914

Avner Offer 19 September 2014

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World War I was a mistake. Its consequences were not part of anybody’s expectations (excepting Stead and Bloch 1899) – certainly not of those who set it off, although there was an undertone of fatalism in their decisions (Offer 1995). If one side had possessed an unassailable superiority, then there would have been no call for war. The war’s duration indicates that the sides were matched, that the outcome was uncertain, and that instigating war was therefore a colossal gamble – and, as it turned out, a bad one. The decisions for war were irresponsible, incompetent, and worse.

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Topics:  Economic history Energy

Tags:  WWI, World War I, war, imperialism, nationalism, energy, Agriculture, technology, technological change, innovation, conscription, Inequality, rationing

African growth looking forward

Marco Annunziata 16 August 2014

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Views on Africa’s growth prospects have jumped from utter pessimism to extreme enthusiasm. The latter has been centre-stage with the US–Africa Summit hosted in Washington DC from 4–6 August 2014, with the participation of top political and business leaders. My coauthors Todd Johnson and Shlomi Kramer and I have tried to take a sober assessment of Africa’s progress and prospects, looking beyond the current hype and the inevitable frustration that doing business in the region still generates (Annunziata et al. 2014).

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Topics:  Development

Tags:  development, growth, Africa, human capital, trade, innovation, infrastructure, commodity boom

Agglomeration and product innovation in China

Hongyong Zhang 21 July 2014

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Spatial agglomeration of economic activities is generally assumed to improve productivity and spur firms’ innovation through localisation economies and urbanisation economies.1 There is an extensive empirical literature investigating the effects of localisation and urbanisation on firm-level productivity. Despite its economic importance, there are few empirical studies focusing on agglomeration and product innovation. Feldman and Audretsch (1999) and De Beule and Van Beveren (2010) are two of the few exceptions.

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Topics:  Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  R&D, productivity, China, spatial concentration, innovation, subsidies, clusters, agglomeration

Protection of intellectual property to foster innovations in the service sector

Masayuki Morikawa 20 July 2014

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Given the declining labour force due to population ageing, accelerating the productivity growth of industries – especially the service industries – is an important element of the growth strategy in Japan and most advanced countries. While there are a variety of factors affecting productivity, innovation is one of the key determinants of productivity growth. However, innovation in the service sector has not been studied well. I present findings on innovation in the service sector by focusing on the effect of intellectual property rights on innovation.

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Topics:  Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  R&D, growth, productivity, patents, Japan, innovation, services, intellectual property, trade secrets

Trust-based working time spurs innovation

Holger Görg, Olivier N. Godart, Aoife Hanley, Christiane Krieger-Boden 08 July 2014

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The organisation of work has changed dramatically over the last few decades. In particular, the formerly rigidly regulated working time has been replaced by flexible working hour schemes in numerous firms around the world. Taking Germany as an example, in 2010, 36% of employees were entitled to some form of flexible working hours scheme (Figure 1).

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Topics:  Health economics Labour markets Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  Germany, working hours, trust, health, innovation, motivation, overtime, flexibility, working time

R&D internationalisation during the Global Crisis

Bernhard Dachs, Georg Zahradnik 06 July 2014

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Foreign firms’ share of total business R&D expenditure increased during the last three decades in almost all countries where data is available, but this trend stopped with the Global Crisis of 2008–2009. In most countries, R&D of foreign firms was more severely affected by the crisis than R&D of domestic firms. However, the crisis did not lead to a new global distribution of overseas R&D expenditure.

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Topics:  Global crisis Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  R&D, globalisation, multinationals, FDI, innovation, global crisis, persistence, autonomy, subsidiaries

How highly educated immigrants raise native wages

Giovanni Peri, Kevin Shih, Chad Sparber 29 May 2014

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Immigration to the US has risen tremendously in recent decades. Though media attention and popular discourse often focus on illegal immigrants or the high foreign-born presence among less-educated workers, the data show that immigrants are drawn from both ends of the education spectrum. At the low end, immigrants grew from 5% of workers with a high school degree or less in 1970 to 20.8% in 2010. At the high end, the figure rose from 7.3% to 18.2% for those with graduate degrees over the same period.1

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Topics:  Labour markets Migration Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  US, growth, productivity, wages, immigration, innovation, complementarities, STEM

The locust and the bee: predators and creators in capitalism's future

Geoff Mulgan interviewed by Romesh Vaitilingam,

Date Published

Fri, 04/11/2014

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See Also

Mulgan, G (2014) The Locust and the Bee: Predators and Creators in Capitalism's Future. Princeton University Press 

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Topics

Politics and economics
Tags
innovation, financial crisis, political uncertainty

Related Article(s)

Redistribution, inequality, and sustainable growth The price of political uncertainty The puzzling pervasiveness of dysfunctional banking The great escape from death and deprivation New evidence on the durability of social norms
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