Economic Growth: The Past, the Present, and the Future
Journal of Political Economy,
“Is there some action a government of India could take that would lead the Indian economy to grow like Indonesia’s or Egypt’s? If so, what, exactly? If not, what is it about the ‘nature of India’ that makes it so? The consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: Once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else. (Lucas 1988, 5)”
These words by the Nobel laureate Chicago economist Robert Lucas Jr. summarize why so many great scholars found it hard to “think about anything else” and spent their careers trying to understand the process of economic growth. Economies are complex systems resulting from the actions of many actors. This complexity makes it challenging, but also infinitely interesting, to understand the determinants of economic growth. What are the roles of human capital, fertility, ideas, basic science, and public policy for growth? These are just some of the important questions that were posed by many highly influential studies featured in the issues of the Journal of Political Economy over the years. Indeed, this journal has been the platform to diffuse many of the brilliant ideas and start important debates in the field of economic growth. In this short paper, my goal is to revisit some of those seminal papers, briefly describe some of the more recent contributions, and end with some thoughts about the future direction of the field. The reader should note in advance that the list of work covered here is by no means exhaustive and mostly targets work that has been featured in issues of the JPE.
R&D Collaborations and the Role of Proximity
R&D collaborations and the role of proximity. Regional Studies. This paper explores the impact of proximity measures on knowledge exchange measured by granted research and development (R&D) collaboration projects in German NUTS-3 regions. The results are obtained from a spatial interaction model including eigenvector spatial filters. Not only geographical but also other forms of proximity (technological, organizational and institutional) have a significant influence on the emergence of collaborations. Furthermore, the results suggest interdependences between proximity measures. Nevertheless, the analysis does not show that other forms of proximity may compensate for missing geographical proximity. The results indicate that (subsidized) collaborative innovation activities tend to cluster.
17.08.2017 • 30/2017
Ostdeutsche Wirtschaft: Rückstand bleibt trotz kräftigem Aufschwung groß, Finanzausgleich fließt auch nach Reform vor allem in den Osten
Ostdeutschland hat vom gegenwärtigen Aufschwung in Deutschland bisher besonders deutlich profitiert. In jedem der Aufschwungsjahre 2014 bis 2016 nahm die gesamtwirtschaftliche Produktion schneller zu als in Westdeutschland; auch für das Jahr 2017 prognostiziert das IWH, dass der Zuwachs der Produktion in Ostdeutschland mit 1,8% etwas höher liegt als in Westdeutschland. „Freilich ist auch nach mehr als 25 Jahren Deutscher Einheit in jeder der ostdeutschen Regionen die Produktivität immer noch niedriger als in derjenigen westdeutschen Region mit der geringsten Produktivität“, räumt Oliver Holtemöller, Leiter der Abteilung Makroökonomik und Vizepräsident des Leibniz-Instituts für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (IWH), ein. Der größte Teil der Zuweisungen vom Bund wird auch ab dem Jahr 2020, wenn der reformierte Länderfinanzausgleich gilt, in den Osten der Republik fließen. Die Reform des Länderfinanzausgleichs hat dabei nicht zu einer Verbesserung der wirtschaftspolitischen Anreize für die finanzschwachen Bundesländer geführt, was auch dazu beitragen könnte, dass die ökonomische Konvergenz nur schleppend verläuft.
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Broadening the G20 Financial Inclusion Agenda to Promote Financial Stability: The Role for Regional Banking Networks
G20 Insights Policy Brief, Policy Area "Financial Resilience",
Policies that foster the expansion of regional banking services can be an effective tool to enhance financial inclusion by facilitating the access to deposit services. Financial inclusion, in turn, can expand banks’ deposit base with positive spillovers for financial stability, both at the bank and country levels. Governments’ support to unconventional branching via correspondent banking, to the proportionality of regulation, and to the harmonization of banking services can provide the conditions to stimulate banks to reach customers that remain outside the financial system, especially in emerging countries. By encouraging these conditions within its Financial Inclusion Action Plan, the G20 could effectively link its financial inclusion and financial stability objectives within a consistent policy framework.
Joint R&D Subsidies, Related Variety, and Regional Innovation
International Regional Science Review,
Subsidies for research and development (R&D) are an important tool of public R&D policy, which motivates extensive scientific analyses and evaluations. This article adds to this literature by arguing that the effects of R&D subsidies go beyond the extension of organizations’ monetary resources invested into R&D. It is argued that collaboration induced by subsidized joint R&D projects yield significant effects that are missed in traditional analyses. An empirical study on the level of German labor market regions substantiates this claim, showing that collaborative R&D subsidies impact regions’ innovation growth when providing access to related variety and embedding regions into central positions in cross-regional knowledge networks.
05.01.2017 • 3/2017
Secretariat for research network CompNet gets new home at IWH
The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association is pleased to announce that it will be hosting the Secretariat for the Competitiveness Research Network (CompNet), an international network of scholars and practitioners, who share interest for top-notch research and policy analysis on competitiveness and productivity.
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03.05.2016 • 20/2016
Are Lacking Structural Reforms in the Financial Sector the Underlying Reason for the German Criticism of the ECB?
The major reason for the intense criticism of the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) low-interest-rate policy may be the lack of structural reforms in the German banking system. The resulting persistent fragmentation increases the banking sector’s vulnerability to the low-interest-rate environment. Hence, parts of the banking sector, due to their strong ties to politicians, appear to have successfully influenced public opinion against the ECB.
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RegDemo: Preparation and Merger of Actor Data – Technical Documentation of Routines and Datasets
IWH Technical Reports,
Primary objective of the presented routines is the mapping of cooperative relations of companies, universities, non-university research facilities and other institutions on three levels of innovation activity (joint projects; publications, patents). This includes a) the standardization and merging of the three innovation-related databases (funding catalog (“Förderkatalog”); Web of Knowledge; DPMA patents) and b) linking this combined data pool with the data from the institution data sets Amadeus and Research Explorer by means of record linkage procedures. For this project the merger comprises the six regions considered in the RegDemo project. Spatial planning regions (“Raumordnungsregionen”) are used for delimitation: 501 - Aachen; 513 - Siegen; 602 - Nordhessen (= “Kassel”); 1302 – Mittleres Mecklenburg/Rostock (= “Rostock”); 1401 - Oberes Elbtal/Osterzgebirge (= “Dresden”); 1504 - Magdeburg.
Financial Constraints on Growth: Comparing the Balkans to Other Transition Economies
Eastern European Economics,
This article applies an adjusted growth diagnostic approach to identify the currently most binding constraint on financing growth in the West Balkan countries. Since this group of economies faces both structural and systemic transformation problems, the original supply-side approach might not be sufficient to detect the most binding constraint. The results of the analysis indicate that the binding constraint on credit and investment growth in the region is the high and increasing share of nonperforming loans, primarily in the household sector, due to policy failures. This article compares the Balkan countries to a group of advanced transition economies. Single-country and panel regressions indicate that demand-side factors do not play a constraining role on growth in the West Balkan countries, but they do in the advanced transition economies.