The New Kaldor stylized facts

Kaldor published some stylized facts about growth in the sixties and growth theorist went about explaining them. They’re done now. Professors Jones and Romer came up with a new set of growth facts (h/t Kling). I will spend my career hearing theories that explain these new facts. Yeah!

Two UC Davis econ profs are cited.

Also, in that paper is my original dissertation idea:

The interaction between institutions and idea flows is easy to illustrate in familiar contexts. For example, until 1996, opponents successfully used the local permit process to keep Wal-Mart from building stores or distribution centers in Vermont. This kept powerful logistics ideas like cross-docking that Wal-Mart pioneered from being used to raise productivity in retailing in the state. Such nonrival ideas must have been at least partly excludable. This is why Wal-Mart was willing to spend resources developing them and why competitors were not able to copy them. All this fits comfortably in the default model of endogenous discovery of ideas as partially excludable nonrival goods.

Looking at the macro (state-level) data, I couldn’t find the relationship suggested in the bolded section. There’s great data on Walmart’s spread out of Arkansas after its founding. If anybody’s interested in this stuff, I can pass on citations, etc.

5 thoughts on “The New Kaldor stylized facts”

  1. Is Wal-Mart more productive (and/)or does it have monopsony power?

    Why not look at what you suggest in particular, i.e. retail (labor?) productivity rather than gross product at the state level?

  2. Thats exactly what my advisor told me… my response: I’m doing macroeconomics; I don’t care about Walmart’s effect as much as I was interested in the technologies they use as a form of skill biased technological change. Given I’m doing micro stuff now, this was a lame reason to drop the idea. Hey, I may come back to it!

  3. Macro is aggregated micro? — To get macro implications you just need to append “Assume there are many Wal-marts” or something like that at the start. 😉

  4. now i’m really procrastinating on prelim studies here…

    Jones and Romer are two of my favs…

    i see jones has come around!

    before, he believed tech growth was constant. Now he knows it’s increasing…

    I’m overcome at their insights! “poor countries growth varies! markets are getting bigger! Human capital is advancing!” No f*cking shit, sherlocks… Dark Ages of Macro? How ’bout “Golden Ages of Growth”, when we’ve got two fine sleuths like Jones and Romer on the case…

    My all-time favorite Jones paper was the one in which predicted a slowdown in US growth b/c, since US of Amerikens are already so erudite and scholarly, we cain’t possibly get any more learned, and so we can only look forward to a dark, slow-growth future…

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