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Does it Payoff to Research Economics? A Tale of Citation, Knowledge and Economic Growth in Transition Countries
Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications,
There are many economic theories that promote human capital as a key driver of a country’s economic growth, but it is challenging to test this theory empirically on a country level and causally interpret the coefficients due to several identification problems. We tried to answer this particular question by using a quasi-natural experiment that happened quarter century ago – the fall of communist block in Eastern Europe. We use a shock to a particular scientific field – economics, to test whether the future investment into that particular field resulted in increased welfare and economic growth. The economics paradigm that was governing all of the communist block ceased to exist. Human capital depreciated over night and all communist countries had to transit from planned economy to a market economy. In the following years countries had to adapt to market economy through additional investment in human capital and research. We find that countries which lack both of the two fourth mentioned components had 25 years later a relatively lower economic growth and wealth. Unlike economics, other fields such as physics and medicine did not go through the same process so we use them as a placebo effect for our study. We find that the relative ratio of citations between economics and physics in post-communist countries is increasing only 15 years after the “paradigm” shock which gives a suggestive evidence that timing of investment into particular scientific field matters the most.
Immigration and the Rise of American Ingenuity
American Economic Review,
We build on the analysis in Akcigit, Grigsby, and Nicholas (2017) by using US patent and census data to examine the relationship between immigration and innovation. We construct a measure of foreign born expertise and show that technology areas where immigrant inventors were prevalent between 1880 and 1940 experienced more patenting and citations between 1940 and 2000. The contribution of immigrant inventors to US innovation was substantial. We also show that immigrant inventors were more productive than native born inventors; however, they received significantly lower levels of labor income. The immigrant inventor wage-gap cannot be explained by differentials in productivity.
Heterogeneity in Lending and Sectoral Growth: Evidence from German Bank-level Data
International Economics and Economic Policy,
This paper investigates whether heterogeneity across firms and banks matters for the impact of domestic sectoral growth on bank lending. We use several bank-level datasets provided by the Deutsche Bundesbank for the 1996–2002 period. Our results show that firm heterogeneity and bank heterogeneity affect how lending responds to domestic sectoral growth. We document that banks’ total lending to German firms reacts pro-cyclically to domestic sectoral growth, while lending exceeding a threshold of €1.5 million to German and foreign firms does not. Moreover, we document that the response of lending depends on bank characteristics such as the banking groups, the banks’ asset size, and the degree of sectoral specialization. We find that total domestic lending by savings banks and credit cooperatives (including their regional institutions), smaller banks, and banks that are highly specialized in specific sectors responds positively and, in relevant cases, more strongly to domestic sectoral growth.
Exporting Financial Institutions Management via Foreign Direct Investment Mergers and Acquisitions
Journal of International Money and Finance,
We test the relevance of the new trade theory and the traditional theory of comparative advantage for explaining the geographic patterns of international M&As of financial institutions between 1985 and 2000. The data provide statistically significant support for both theories. We also find evidence that the U.S. has idiosyncratic comparative advantages at both exporting and importing financial institutions management.