NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Which Parts of Globalization Matter for Catch-up Growth?

Paul M. Romer

NBER Working Paper No. 15755
Issued in February 2010
NBER Program(s):   EFG

Economists devote too much attention to international flows of goods and services and not enough to international flows of ideas. Traditional trade flows are an imperfect substitute for flows of the underlying ideas. The simplest textbook trade model shows that a welfare-enhancing move toward freer flows of ideas should be associated with a reduction in conventional trade. The large quantitative effect from the flow of ideas is evident in the second half of the 20th century as the life expectancies in poor and rich countries began to converge. Another example comes from China, where authorities dramatically reduced accident rates by adopting rules of civil aviation that were developed in the United States. All economists, including trade economists, would be better equipped to talk about international flows of technologies and rules if they adopted a consistent vocabulary based on the concepts of nonrivalry and excludability. An analysis of the interaction between rules and technologies may help explain important puzzles such as why private firms have successfully diffused some technologies (mobile telephony) but not others (safe municipal water.)

download in pdf format
   (57 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (57 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15755

Published: "Which Parts of Globalization Matter for Catch - Up Growth?" American Economic Review , Vol. 100, No. 2, May 2010, 94 - 98.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
McMillan and Rodrik w17143 Globalization, Structural Change and Productivity Growth
Jones and Romer w15094 The New Kaldor Facts: Ideas, Institutions, Population, and Human Capital
Acemoglu and Yared w15694 Political Limits to Globalization
Evans, Honkapohja, and Romer w5659 Growth Cycles
Romer w3173 Human Capital And Growth: Theory and Evidence
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us