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Structural development accounting

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 are different types of workers, 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 86 countries in 1970 and 122 countries in 2000. Removing barriers to technology adoption would increase the output per worker of the average non-OECD country relative to the US from 0.19 to 0.61, while increasing skill premia in all countries. Removing barriers to 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 IPR protection.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 1249.

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Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision: Feb 2011
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1249
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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  1. Jaume Ventura, 2005. "A global view of economic growth," Economics Working Papers 849, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Fabrizio Zilbotti, 1999. "Productivity Differences," NBER Working Papers 6879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. 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.
  5. Gino Gancia & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2009. "Technological Change and the Wealth of Nations," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 93-120, 05.
  6. Diego A. Comin & Bart Hobijn, 2008. "An Exploration of Technology Diffusion," Harvard Business School Working Papers 08-093, Harvard Business School.
  7. Acemoglu, Daron & Aghion, Philippe & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2002. "Distance to Frontier, Selection, and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3467, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Fadinger, Harald, 2011. "Productivity differences in an interdependent world," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 221-232, July.
  9. Gancia, Gino & Bonfiglioli, Alessandra, 2008. "North-South trade and directed technical change," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 276-295, December.
  10. 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.
  11. Diego Comin & Bart Hobijn, 2005. "Lobbies and Technology Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 11022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2006. "The World Technology Frontier," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 499-522, June.
  13. Francesco Caselli & Daniel Wilson, 2003. "Importing technology," Working Paper Series 2003-04, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  14. Acemoglu, Daron & Gancia, Gino & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2012. "Competing engines of growth: Innovation and standardization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 570-601.e3.
  15. David N. Weil, 1996. "Appropriate Technology and Growth," Working Papers 96-24, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  16. 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.
  17. Diego Comin & William Easterly & Erick Gong, 2006. "Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 B.C.?," NBER Working Papers 12657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Daron Acemoglu, 1999. "Patterns of Skill Premia," NBER Working Papers 7018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Ciccone, Antonio & Papaioannou, Elias, 2006. "Human capital, the structure of production, and growth," Working Paper Series 0623, European Central Bank.
  20. Arvind Subramanian & Devesh Roy, 2001. "Who Can Explain the Mauritian Miracle; Meade, Romer, Sachs, or Rodrik?," IMF Working Papers 01/116, International Monetary Fund.
  21. 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.
  22. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Barriers to Riches," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661306, June.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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