NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Michael E. Waugh

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Working Papers

November 2013The Agricultural Productivity Gap
with Douglas Gollin, David Lagakos: w19628
According to national accounts data, value added per worker is much higher in the non-agricultural sector than in agriculture in the typical country, and particularly so in developing countries. Taken at face value, this “agricultural productivity gap” suggests that labor is greatly misallocated across sectors. In this paper, we draw on new micro evidence to ask to what extent the gap is still present when better measures of sector labor inputs and value added are taken into consideration. We find that even after considering sector differences in hours worked and human capital per worker, as well as alternative measures of sector output constructed from household survey data, a puzzlingly large gap remains.
February 2011The Elasticity of Trade: Estimates and Evidence
with Ina Simonovska: w16796
Quantitative results from a large class of structural gravity models of international trade depend critically on the elasticity of trade with respect to trade frictions. We develop a new simulated method of moments estimator to estimate this elasticity from disaggregate price and trade-flow data and we use it within Eaton and Kortum's (2002) Ricardian model. We apply our estimator to disaggregate price and trade-flow data for 123 countries in the year 2004. Our method yields a trade elasticity of roughly four, nearly fifty percent lower than Eaton and Kortum's (2002) approach. This difference doubles the welfare gains from international trade.

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