Economic Growth: New
The Guts of a GUT: Elements of a Grand Unified Theory of Growth. The Albert Hirschman lecture at the 2010 LACEA meetings (additional material on the "economic growth" page). This is an attempt to bring together the body of work around the lack of persistence of growth and hence episodes of boom and bust with the work on policy implementation and feedback loops from economic structure to "institutions" and policy implementation starting from weak institutions and "deals" based policy implementation.
In this paper I document four facts of growth, two of which generated a set of interesting graphs.
GUTS supporting material. This set of graphs generalizes the point made on the cover of Charles Jones' book about economic growth by showing the incredible stability of long-run growth in the USA. I use Maddison's data for the 16 leading countries to show that growth rates estimated on some period between 1890 and 1929 (where the period is chosen optimally) can generally predict 2003 GDP per capita to within a few percentage points (the median prediction error is only 3.9 percent). This is the graph for Denmark
Deals versus Rules: Uncertainty in Policy Implementation in Africa. (February 2009) This paper (and presentation) are part of research into the determinants of growth in Africa and was presented at a recent NBER conference, it is very preliminary and a newer better version should be available soon. It emphasizes that in weak environments for policy implementation, particularly for policies that are implementation intensive, like the collection of taxes or regulatory encforcement, the de jure and de facto policies may not even be close relatives. In this case "policy uncertainty" is not inter-temporal uncertainty about changing rules but firm specific uncertainty about actions of the agents of the state in implementation even for constant set of rules.
Reform is Like a Box of Chocolates:An Interpretive Essay on Understanding the Pleasant and Unpleasant Surprises of Policy Reform. This is a unusual entry on the list of "new" papers, as it was finished in its current form in June 2005, but I have kept hoping I would update and improve it before sending it out, but now I think I will not do that in the forseeable future and in its present state it is, in my view, worth reading, and hence I may was well put up. This is related to the paper above, which is more about using the framework for understading the decisions of firms whereas this paper is about the larger issues of understanding the 'big picture' in policy reform.
Implementing Growth Analytics: Motivation, Background, and Implementation. (September 2008). This paper was prepared for a training exercise for DFID and explicates the steps of a growth diagnostic exercise. It should be read in conjunction with Ricardo Hausmann (and co-authors) recent "mindbook" on growth diagnostics. This emphasises that "growth diagnostics" is more than just the empirical exercise of the diagnostics tree of the Hausman, Rodrik, Velasco paper but has preceding steps (identifying the "growth state" and desired transition) and following steps (an "implementation diagnsotic").