New and interesting working papers

1. Engineers, Innovative Capacity and Development in the Americas by William F. Maloney and Felipe Valencia Caicedo

Using newly collected national and sub-national data and historical case studies, this Using newly collected national and sub-national data and historical case studies, this paper argues that differences in innovative capacity, captured by the density of engineers paper argues that differences in innovative capacity, captured by the density of engineers at the dawn of the Second Industrial Revolution, are important to explaining present at the dawn of the Second Industrial Revolution, are important to explaining present income differences, and, in particular, the poor performance of Latin America relative income differences, and, in particular, the poor performance of Latin America relative to North America. This remains the case after controlling for literacy, other higher to North America. This remains the case after controlling for literacy, other higher order human capital, such as lawyers, as well as demand side elements that might order human capital, such as lawyers, as well as demand side elements that might be confounded with engineering. The analysis then finds that agglomeration, certain be confounded with engineering. The analysis then finds that agglomeration, certain geographical fundamentals, and extractive institutions such as slavery affect innovative geographical fundamentals, and extractive institutions such as slavery affect innovative capacity. However, a large effect associated with being a Spanish colony remains capacity. However, a large effect associated with being a Spanish colony remains suggesting important inherited factors.

 

2. The Wind of Change: Maritime Technology, Trade and Economic Development by Luigi Pascali

The 1870-1913 period marked the birth of the first era of trade globalization. How did this tremendous increase in trade affect economic development? This work isolates a causality channel by exploiting the fact that the steamship produced an asymmetric change in trade distances among countries. Before the invention of the steamship, trade routes depended on wind patterns. The introduction of the steamship in the shipping industry reduced shipping costs and time in a disproportionate manner across countries and trade routes. Using this source of variation and a completely novel set of data on shipping times, trade, and development that spans the great majority of the world between 1850 and 1900, I find that 1) the adoption of the steamship was the major reason for the first wave of trade globalization, 2) only a small number of countries that were characterized by more inclusive institutions benefited from globalization, and 3) globalization exerted a negative effect on both urbanization rates and economic development in most other countries.

 

3.  Rainfall Risk and Religious Membership in the Late Nineteenth-Century United States by Philipp Ager and Antonio Ciccone

Building on the idea that religious communities provide mutual insurance against some idiosyncratic risks, we argue that religious membership is more valuable in societies ex- posed to greater common risk. In our empirical analysis we exploit rainfall risk as a source of common economic risk in the nineteenth-century United States and show that religious communities were larger in counties where they faced greater rainfall risk. The link between rainfall risk and the size of religious communities is stronger in counties that were more agricultural, that had lower population densities, or that were exposed to greater rainfall risk during the growing season.

2 thoughts on “New and interesting working papers

  1. I do Forex trading and I completely understand the importance of news, I always try to keep myself updated with all the happening, as that’s the only way we can get success, if we are not aware of the happening around us then we could face some serious problems, so that’s why it is vital to be updated with all the stuff. I am lucky to have OctaFX broker with me with their daily market news and analysis service, it is free too!

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