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Structural Development Accounting

  • Gino Gancia
  • Andreas Müller
  • Fabrizio Zilibotti

In this paper, we construct and estimate a unified model combining three of the main sources of cross-country income disparities: differences in factor endowments, barriers to technology adoption and the inappropriateness of frontier technologies to local conditions. The key components of our framework are di€erent types of workers (skilled and unskilled labor), distortions to capital accumulation, directed technical change, costly adoption and spillovers from the world technology frontier. Despite its parsimonious parametrization, our empirical model provides a good fit of GDP data for up to 90 countries in 1970 and 2000. We use the model to assess the relative importance of alternative factors a€ecting the world income distribution and to perform counterfactual experiments. Our results suggests that removing barriers to technology adoption would increase output of the average OECD economy relative to the US frontier from 68.3% to 92.5%. The average non-OECD country would instead increase from 17.4% to 53.8%. Slashing barriers would also lead to higher skill premia in all countries. We also study how globalization can shape income disparities. In the absence of global IPR protection, we find that trade in goods amplifies income disparities, induces skill-biased technology adoption and increases skill premia in the majority of countries. These results are reverted if trade liberalization is coupled with international protection of IPR.

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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 494.

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Date of creation: Aug 2010
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:494
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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Gino Gancia & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2010. "Competing engines of growth: Innovation and standardization," Economics Working Papers 1358, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2010.
  2. Antonio Ciccone & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "Long-run substitutability between more and less educated workers: Evidence from U.S. States 1950-1990," Economics Working Papers 764, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Zilibotti, Fabrizio & Aghion, Philippe & Acemoglu, Daron, 2006. "Distance to Frontier, Selection, and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4554122, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2001. "Productivity Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 563-606.
  5. Gino Gancia & Alessandra Bonfiglioli, 2003. "North-South Trade and Directed Technical Change," Working Papers 321, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. Diego A. Comin & William Easterly & Erick Gong, 2008. "Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 B.C.?," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-052, Harvard Business School.
  7. Fadinger, Harald, 2011. "Productivity differences in an interdependent world," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 221-232, July.
  8. Stephen L Parente & Edward C Prescott, 2004. "A Unified Theory of the Evolution of International Income Levels," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000300, David K. Levine.
  9. Gino Gancia & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2008. "Technological change and the wealth of nations," Economics Working Papers 1125, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  10. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-63, July.
  11. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Patterns of Skill Premia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 199-230.
  12. Diego Comin & Bart Hobijn, 2005. "Lobbies and Technology Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 11022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Diego A. Comin & Bart Hobijn, 2008. "An Exploration of Technology Diffusion," Harvard Business School Working Papers 08-093, Harvard Business School.
  14. Antonio Ciccone & Elias Papaioannou, 2005. "Human Capital, the Structure of Production, and Growth," Working Papers 245, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  15. Ventura, Jaume, 2005. "A Global View of Economic Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1419-1497 Elsevier.
  16. 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.
  17. Susanto Basu & David N. Weil, 1998. "Appropriate Technology and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1025-1054.
  18. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2000. "The World Technology Frontier," NBER Working Papers 7904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Francesco Caselli & Daniel J. Wilson, 2003. "Importing technology," Working Paper Series 2003-04, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  20. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
  21. Cohen, Daniel & Soto, Marcelo, 2001. "Growth and Human Capital: Good Data, Good Results," CEPR Discussion Papers 3025, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Acemoglu, Daron, 1997. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 1707, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Arvind Subramanian & Devesh Roy, 2001. "Who Can Explain The Mauritian Miracle; Meade, Romer, Sachs or Rodrik?," IMF Working Papers 01/116, International Monetary Fund.
  24. Gino Gancia & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "Horizontal innovation in the theory of growth and development," Economics Working Papers 831, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  25. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Barriers to Riches," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661306, June.
  26. 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.
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