Philipp Ager, Benedikt Herz, 16 May 2019

The transition from high to low fertility rates is regarded as one of the most important determinants of sustainable long-run growth. But despite its importance, there is still an ongoing debate about its causes and timing. This column demonstrates that a sustained shift from agriculture to manufacturing contributed to the fertility decline in the American South at the turn of the 20th century. 

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UNIDO, UNU-MERIT and the GPID Network organize an interdisciplinary workshop to explore questions connected to the Future of Industrial Work and the new pathways and policies of structural transformation. More information on the objectives of the workshop are reported in the call.
The keynote speaker at the workshop is Margaret McMillan (Tufts University). The workshop will also feature a high-profile policy panel chaired by Kunal Sen (UNU-WIDER).
Deadline for abstracts: 1 May 2019
Deadline for full draft papers: 1 September 2019
Workshop: 19-20 September 2019
Abstracts should be between 1,500 and 1,800 words, contain key words indicating the focus of research and the methods used, and should be submitted via [email protected]. The abstract should contain information about the topic, how it is investigated and the contribution to knowledge.
A selection of papers will be considered for a special issue in a leading journal of development studies or in an edited volume

Zsofia Barany, Christian Siegel, 25 July 2018

Economists agree that structural transformation and job polarisation are both caused mainly by biased technological progress, but there is no consensus on the nature of these biases. The column uses US data to estimate the extent to which technological change is biased across sectors and across occupations. It finds that for improved labour market outcomes, policies targeting occupational choice for workers might be better than industrial policies to protect sectors of the economy.

Oya Celasun, Bertrand Gruss, 25 May 2018

The manufacturing sector is believed to play a unique role as a catalyst for productivity growth and income convergence, and as a provider of well-paid jobs for less-skilled workers. This column argues, however, that the declining share of manufacturing employment over the past decades need not hurt the income convergence prospects of developing economies and that the loss of manufacturing jobs can only explain a small fraction of the rise in inequality in advanced economies. That said, getting the policies right is key to help countries make the most out of structural transformation. 

Dani Rodrik, 12 February 2015

As developed economies have substituted away from manufacturing towards services, so too have developing countries – to an even greater extent. Such sectoral change may be premature for economies that never fully industrialised in the first place. This column presents evidence that countries with smaller manufacturing sectors substitute away from manufacturing to a larger extent, suggesting a trade channel through which falling international relative prices of manufacturing lead price-taking developing economies to substitute accordingly.

Margaret McMillan, 30 August 2014

Some argue that growth across Africa is fundamentally a result of rising commodity prices and that if these prices were to collapse, so too would Africa’s growth rates. This column documents substantial shifts in the occupational structure of most African economies between 2000 and 2010 and thus provides a good reason for cautious optimism about the continent’s economic progress.

Jesus Felipe, Utsav Kumar, Arnelyn Abdon, 26 August 2010

Why have China and India been able to grow so quickly? This column argues that while the industrial policies pursued by both countries up until the 1980s led to gross mistakes and inefficiencies, China and India would not be where they are now without them. Their export baskets are far more sophisticated and diversified than expected given their income per capita.

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