In 1930, fewer than 10% of farms in the US had access to electricity. By the mid-1950s, almost every farm in the country had electricity. While the US was able to extend electricity to its rural locations rapidly over a 25-year period, much of the developing world still remains without electricity today. In 2012, 1.3 billion people lived without electricity worldwide.
US electrification in the 1930s
Carl Kitchens, 29 January 2014
Is technological progress a thing of the past?
Joel Mokyr, 8 September 2013
Technological progress has been at the heart of economic growth for two centuries. Some authors, however, have suggested that product and process innovation are running out of steam:
Technology and income dynamics: 1800-2000
Diego Comin, Martí Mestieri, 28 May 2013
Two-hundred years ago, cross-country differences in income were relatively small. European countries and Western offshoots, what Maddison (2004) called Western countries, were on average 90% richer than the rest.1 By 2000, this income gap had grown to 750%.
Four changes to trade rules to facilitate climate change action
Aaditya Mattoo, Arvind Subramanian, 4 May 2013
The research on the links between trade rules and climate-change action has mostly been concerned with how far climate-change action is constrained by current trade rules pertaining, for example, to border-tax adjustments (Horn and Mavroidis 2011), subsidies (Green 2006) and exports of natural gas (Levi 2012 and Hufbauer et al. 2013).
European data protection: Impact of the EU data-protection regulation
Laurits R. Christensen, Federico Etro, 24 March 2013
Policymaking and regulation at the centralised level in a union of countries such as the EU require care. Policymakers must strike a careful balance between the benefits of the harmonisation of policies and the costs of accounting for the differing preferences of individual countries (see Dewatripont et al. 1995).
Ageing and productivity: Economists and others
Daniel S. Hamermesh, 20 February 2013
Sixty years ago, Harvey Lehman published a path-breaking book examining the lifecycle of productivity in various fields, scientific, humanistic and artistic (Lehman 1953). He demonstrated the now widely accepted conclusion that the contributions of mathematicians and people in mathematics-related disciplines peak very early in their careers.
Reallocation and Technology: Evidence from the U.S. Steel Industry
Allan Collard-Wexler, Jan De Loecker, 3 February 2013
Vox readers can download CEPR Discussion Paper 9331 for free here.
Health insurance, innovation, and technology adoption
Joan Costa-i-Font, Alistair McGuire, Victoria Serra-Sastre, 19 January 2013
With government budgets under pressure in mature economies, burgeoning healthcare expenditures are under scrutiny. In this light, healthcare innovation can either help by developing new cheaper treatments or make healthcare policy decisions more difficult by introducing new, better but more expensive technologies.
Can trade policy set information free?
Susan Ariel Aaronson, 22 December 2012
Although the internet is creating a virtuous circle of expanding global growth, opportunity, and information flows (Lendle et al. 2012), policymakers and market actors are taking steps that undermine access to information, reduce freedom of expression and splinter the internet (Herald 2012).
Heavy technology: The process of technological diffusion over time and space
Diego Comin, Mikhail Dmitriev, Esteban Rossi-Hansberg , 26 November 2012
Distance is a fundamental impediment to virtually all economic transactions. Naturally, higher freight costs make trading goods more expensive, and higher migration costs prevent people from moving to other areas where they might have better opportunities of employment. The examples of the importance of distance for economic interactions abound.
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