The ‘Reversal of Fortune’: Institutions or Globalisation?

Originally published at joefrancis.info Joe Francis Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson and James Robinson (AJR, 2002) famously argued that a ‘reversal of fortune’ had taken place among ex-European colonies. Generally speaking, they argued, those ex-colonies that had been richest in 1500 would become the poorest by the end of the twentieth century. This, they claimed, was […]

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Is the Penn World Table Credible?

Originally published at joefrancis.info Joe Francis Last year the eighth edition of the Penn World Table (PWT) was released to considerable fanfare – indeed, one commentator described it as ‘a special day for all researchers and practitioners of economics‘. Yet its series for Argentina raises more questions than it answers. PWT 8.0’s major innovation was […]

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Jeffrey Williamson’s Terms of Trade

Originally published at joefrancis.info Joe Francis Jeffrey Williamson‘s (2011) book Trade and Poverty: When the Third World Fell Behind is one of the most interesting attempts to explain the ‘great divergence’ between rich and poor countries. It is a shame, then, that it is marred by his use of Mickey Mouse numbers. In simplified terms, Williamson argues that […]

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