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- Using your favorite data source (see below), choose a “rich” and a “poor” country based on their GDP per capita adjusted by PPP exchange rates to answer the following questions:
- How big was the income gap between the rich and the poor country for the most recent year available in your data?
- How was the income gap between these same two countries for the earliest year available in your data?
- Plot the relative GDP per capita (i.e. the development gap) between these two countries over the period you based your previous analysis (all the years between the earliest and latest data points).
- Gap Minder: www.gapminder.org.
- World Bank’s World Development Indicators: https://datacatalog.worldbank.org/dataset/world-development-indicators.
- Penn World Tables: https://www.rug.nl/ggdc/productivity/pwt/.
- Fred: https://fred.stlouisfed.org
- Use the data on GDP per capita from question 1 and plot the following time series:
- The evolution of the real GDP per capita for the two countries of your choice in levels.
- The evolution of the real GDP per capita for the two countries of your choice in logarithms.
- The growth rates of the real GDP per capita for the two countries of your choice.
- What connection do you see between the plot in logarithms vs. the growth rates?
- Can you tell a story about the catch up (or lack of it) between the rich and the poor country you selected using the plots from questions 2a, 2b and 2c? Try to explain the data with a story that you can tell a random person in the street.
- Read Krugman’s (1994) – The Myth of Asia’s Miracle to answer the following questions:
- How can the Solow Growth Model explain the myth described by Krugman? Use the Soviet Union as an example to support your answer.
- What are the implications of the myth described by Krugman for Asia in the long run? Use the case of China and support your answer with data.
- Explain with graphs and equations how you can integrate population growth to the Solow Growth Model. Assume no technological progress. Make sure to compare the steady state levels and growth rates in the long run.
- In the context of the Solow Growth model without technological progress and with no population growth, use graphs to explain the effects of a reduction in the depreciation rate on:
- Output and capital per worker over time.
- GDP growth over time.
- Consumption over time.
- In a country that produces output per-capita according to 𝑦 = 𝑘!/# with a savings rate of 0.15 and a depreciation rate of 0.1.
- What are the steady-state levels of capital, output and consumption per worker per worker?
- If the savings increases to 0.3, what are the new steady-state levels of capital, output and consumption per worker?
- Now compare your results in a) and b) with a production function 𝑦 = 𝑘#/$
- Explain the economic intuition of the Malthusian model and why this theory successfully explains the data prior to the industrial revolution.
- Explain why the Malthusian hypothesis fails after the industrial revolution. Include in your answer an economic explanation for the demographic transition based on Gary Becker’s quantity to quality trade-off. For this question you need to read Doepke’s (2015) – On the Quantity and Quality of Children.
- Imagine the following universal returns to education.
- 1.2 for the first 5 years of schooling.
- 1.15 for the following 6 years (from year 6 to year 11)
- 1.1 beyond 11 years of schooling (from year 12 and beyond).
- Can you provide an intuitive reason behind the drops in the returns to education?
- Would these data indicate that highly educated people earn less?
- Calculate the relative human capital between country A that has 8 years of education on average versus country B with 18 years of education. “”
- With a production function given by 𝑦 = 𝐴𝑘!h#, calculate how much physical capital country A would need to compensate for the difference in human capital assuming both countries have the same productivity.
- With the same production function, calculate how much productive country A would need to be to compensate for the difference in human capital assuming both countries have the same physical capital per worker.
f. Repeat d. and e. with the following production function: 𝑦 = 𝐴𝑘!h!. What did you
learn from this exercise?
10. Go back to question 1 and 2, and expand your story of development for the poor country of your choice in terms
- Demographic transition.
- Educational attainment.
Make sure to plot some time series for these three measures and explain their evolution over time. Once you have these plots and a thorough understanding of its evolution, use the concepts of the Solow growth model and Gary Becker’s quantity to quality trade-off to describe in two paragraphs a narrative of development that connect questions 1, 2, and 9. Again, in your story you need to assume that your reader has no knowledge of economics
Bonus: With the members of your group, discuss whether you can trace down the coevolution of development, demographic transition and human capital in your own families as far back as possible and see if you can trace a common pattern across your stories. If you feel comfortable, share these stories with the group and write the main patterns. As you are all in the same University, the “end” of your stories has at least something in common. What else do they have in common? Here you don’t need to share personal/intimate details. Instead, go for abstraction with a grain of truth.
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