Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Why are poor countries poor?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Daniel Cohen; Marcelo Soto

Abstract

We attempt to explain why standard explanations of the poverty of nations are unsatisfactory. We first argue that human capital is low in poor countries because its production has increasing returns with respect to life expectancy. We then show that the reason why capital does not flow to poor countries (the Lucas paradox) can readily be explained once market prices rather than PPP prices are used to assess the return to physical capital: the return to capital in poor countries is not higher than in the rich world in spite of its relative scarcity. We finally argue that PPP calculations bias downwards the measured TFP of poor countries, which may in part explain their lower productivity. The message of hope is that education can shoot up as life expectancy increases. A higher level of human capital would appreciate the real exchange rate through a Balassa-Samuelson effect, thus raising the profitability physical capital. This in turn would encourage foreign capital to flow to developing countries

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://repec.org/esLATM04/up.32407.1081158836.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings with number 75.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecm:latm04:75

Contact details of provider:
Phone: 1 212 998 3820
Fax: 1 212 995 4487
Email:
Web page: http://www.econometricsociety.org/pastmeetings.asp
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Human capital; capital flows; Lucas Paradox;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Acemoglu, D. & Zilibotti, F., 1998. "Productivity Differences," Papers 660, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  2. Mikael Lindahl & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Education for Growth: Why and for Whom?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1101-1136, December.
  3. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1997. "Explaining African economic performance," CSAE Working Paper Series 1997-02.2, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  4. Coe, David T & Helpman, Elhanan & Hoffmaister, Alexander, 1995. "North-South R&D Spillovers," CEPR Discussion Papers 1133, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Easterly, William, 1999. "The ghost of financing gap: testing the growth model used in the international financial institutions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 423-438, December.
  6. Daniel Cohen & Marcelo Soto, 2007. "Growth and human capital: good data, good results," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 51-76, March.
  7. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
  8. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. William Easterly & Michael Kremer & Lant Pritchett & Lawrence H. Summers, 1993. "Good Policy or Good Luck? Country Growth Performance and Temporary Shocks," NBER Working Papers 4474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Young, Alwyn, 1995. "The Tyranny of Numbers: Confronting the Statistical Realities of the East Asian Growth Experience," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 641-80, August.
  11. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  12. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Easterley, William R. & Pack, Howard, 2001. "Is investment in Africa too low or too high : macro and micro evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2519, The World Bank.
  13. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Bazillier, Remi, 2008. "Core Labor Standards and Development: Impact on Long-Term Income," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 17-38, January.
  2. Francesco Caselli & James Feyrer, 2005. "The Marginal Product of Capital," NBER Working Papers 11551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Graham Bird, 2004. "Growth, poverty and the IMF," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(4), pages 621-636.
  4. Causa, Orsetta & Cohen, Daniel, 2006. "Industrial Productivity in 51 Countries, Rich and Poor," CEPR Discussion Papers 5549, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:latm04:75. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.