William Jack, Tavneet Suri, 16 March 2011

The success of the mobile money programme in Kenya – where money is exchanged via mobile phone – has been phenomenal. In four years, a country with only 850 bank branches has seen the number of outlets providing the service grow from 4,000 to 25,000. People have access to formal finance as never before. This column studies 3,000 households between 2008 and 2010, tracking this social and economic transformation.

Sebastian Engelhardt, Andreas Freytag, Stephen Maurer, 29 October 2010

Governments are increasingly interested in promoting open source software. Yet policymakers have seldom laid out any clear theoretical or empirical justification for these policies. This column explores recent studies suggesting that open source and proprietary software strengthen each other and should co-exist – too much open source could actually be a bad thing.

Annamaria Conti , Patrick Gaulé, 30 July 2009

European universities produce high-quality scientific research, but they licence it to industry far less than US universities. This column introduces new survey evidence on university licensing and assesses the gap between the US and Europe. It highlights European universities’ shortcomings in generating technology transfer revenue, despite their desire to do so.

Robert Allen, 15 May 2009

It is still not clear among economic historians why the Industrial Revolution actually took place in 18th century Britain. This column explains that it is the British Empire’s success in international trade that created Britain’s high wage, cheap energy economy, and it was the spring board for the Industrial Revolution.

Lawrence Katz, 15 May 2009

Lawrence Katz of Harvard University talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about his book (co-authored with Claudia Goldin), The Race between Education and Technology, a history of US economic inequality and the roles of technological change and the pace of educational advance in affecting the wage structure. The interview was recorded at the American Economic Association meetings in San Francisco in January 2009.

Daron Acemoğlu, 27 February 2009

Daron Acemoglu of MIT talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about his new book, Introduction to Modern Economic Growth. They discuss why sustained growth took off in Europe in the nineteenth century, the roles of technology and institutions in explaining why some countries grow rapidly while others stagnate, and the growth prospects for the world’s poorest countries as well as the recent Asian success stories. The interview was recorded at the American Economic Association meetings in San Francisco in January 2009.

Kevin O'Rourke, Ronald Findlay, 10 March 2008

Globalisation is fundamentally political, not technological. This is the lesson from a new book tracing 1000 years of international trade history. Here the authors use lessons from the past to identify challenges for globalisation in the 21st century.

Giulia Faggio , Kjell G. Salvanes, John Van Reenen, 25 November 2007

Much of the growing wage inequality stems from increased inequality between firms rather than within firms, suggesting inequality is driven by changes in firm-level productivity related to new technology rather than to international trade or institutions. Trade protectionism or re-energising unions may do relatively little to reverse the increase in inequality.

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