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Productivity Differences between and within Countries

Author

Listed:
  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Melissa Dell

Abstract

We document substantial within-country (cross-municipality) differences in incomes for a large number of countries in the Americas. A significant fraction of the within-country differences cannot be explained by observed human capital. We conjecture that the sources of within-country and between-country differences are related. As a first step toward a unified framework, we propose a simple model incorporating differences in technological know-how across countries and differences in productive efficiency within countries. (JEL E23, I31, J31, O15, O18, O47, R23)

Suggested Citation

  • Daron Acemoglu & Melissa Dell, 2010. "Productivity Differences between and within Countries," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 169-188, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:2:y:2010:i:1:p:169-88
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.2.1.169
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.
    2. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    3. Kanbur, Ravi & Venables, Anthony J., 2005. "SPATIAL INEQUALITY AND DEVELOPMENT Overview of UNU-WIDER Project," Working Papers 127127, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    4. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2005. "History, Institutions, and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1190-1213, September.
    5. Ravi Kanbur & Tony Venables, 2005. "Introduction: Spatial inequality and development," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 1-2, January.
    6. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2009. "Temperature and Income: Reconciling New Cross-Sectional and Panel Estimates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 198-204, May.
    7. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    8. 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.
    9. Angus Deaton & Salman Zaidi, 2002. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates for Welfare Analysis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14101.
    10. Escobal, Javier & Torero, Maximo, 2003. "Adverse Geography and Differences in Welfare in Peru," WIDER Working Paper Series 073, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Kanbur, Ravi & Venables, Anthony J. (ed.), 2005. "Spatial Inequality and Development," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199278633.
    12. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1993. "Innovation and Growth in the Global Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262570971, January.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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