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Whether or not the marginal product of capital (MPK) differs across countries is a question that keeps coming up in discussions of comparative economic development and patterns of capital flows. We use easily accessible macroeconomic data to shed light on this issue, and find that MPKs are remarkably similar across countries. Hence, there is no prima facie(More)
The negative effect of distance on bilateral trade is one of the most robust findings in international trade. However, the underlying causes of this negative relationship are less well understood. This paper exploits a temporary shock to distance, the closing of the Suez canal in 1967 and its reopening in 1975, to examine the effect of distance on trade and(More)
We contribute to the intense debate on the real effects of fiscal stimuli by showing that the impact of government expenditure shocks depends crucially on key country characteristics, such as the level of development, exchange rate regime, openness to trade, and public indebtedness. Based on a novel quarterly dataset of government expenditure in 44(More)
Establishing a robust causal relationship between trade and income has been difficult. Frankel and Romer (1999) use a geographic instrument to identify a positive effect of trade on income. Rodriguez and Rodrik (2000) show that these results are not robust to controlling for omitted variables such as distance to the equator or institutions. This paper(More)
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This paper examines the relationship between workforce demographics and aggregate productivity. Changes in the age structure of the workforce is found to be significantly correlated with changes in aggregate productivity. Different demographic structures may be related to almost one quarter of the persistent productivity gap between the OECD and low income(More)
This paper studies growth and inequality in China and India – two economies that account for a third of the world's population. By modelling growth and inequality as components in a joint stochastic process, the paper calibrates the impact each has on different welfare indicators and on the personal income distribution across the joint population of the two(More)
A BS T R AC T Economists have documented pervasive correlations between legal origins, modern regulation, and economic outcomes around the world. Where legal origin is exogenous, however, it is almost perfectly correlated with another set of potentially relevant background variables: the colonial policies of the European powers that spread the " origin "(More)
We use state and county level variation to examine the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on employment. A cross state analysis suggests that one additional job was created by each $107,000 in stimulus spending. Time series analysis at the state level suggests a smaller response with a per job cost of about $400,000. These results imply(More)