Essays on Macroeconomic Theory: Technology Adoption, the Informal Economy, and Monetary Policy
It is well known that cross-country diferences in income per worker are very large. For example, the average per-capita income of the richest ten percent of countries of the Penn World Tables in 1996 is about thirty times that of the poorest ten percent. Development accounting uses cross-country data on output and inputs to measure the relative contribution of diferences in factor quantities, and di?erences in Total Factor Productivity (TFP) or the efciency with which those factors are used, in explaining these vast diferences in income per worker. The consensus view in development accounting is that TFP is the most important factor in accounting for diferences in income per worker across countries (See, for example, Klenow and Rodriguez-Clare (1997), Prescott (1998), Hall and Jones (1999), Ferreira, Issler and de Abreu Pessa (2000), and Caselli (2004).)
This suggests that in order to explain cross-country diferences in income per worker we need to understand why TFP difers across countries. An emergent literature addresses this issue and shows that cross-country di?erences in the institutional environment, in policies, or in human capital can cause large diferences in TFP. In particular, Acemoglu and Zilibotti (2001) emphasize the role of skill-mismatch. They argue that even if all countries have equal access to new technologies, the existence of technology-skill mismatch can lead to sizeable diferences in TFP and output per worker; Parente and Prescott (2000) and Herrendorf and Teixeira (2004) build the ories in which the protection of monopoly rights impedes the adoption of superior technologies; Rogerson and Restuccia (2004) argue that diferences in the allocation of resources across heterogeneous plants may be a signi?cant factor in accounting for cross-country di?erences in output per capita; Erosa and Hidalgo (2005) propose a theory in which capital market imperfections are at the origin of cross-country TFP differences; and Kocherlakota (2001) shows that limited enforcement and high inequality are crucial to understand the existence of institutions leading to the ine?cient use of technologies.
Advisor:Caballé, Jordi; Erosa, Andrés
School:Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:412 departament d economia i historia economica
Date of Publication:11/17/2006