Abstract: Richard Harris, Regional Growth

4 11 2011

Our final abstract is for Richard Harris‘ “Models of Regional Growth: Past, Present and Future“, which is our invited paper for Friday 18 November 2011, the closing day of the conference:

This paper presents an overview of various models of regional growth that have appeared in the literature in the last 40 years. It considers the past, and therefore supply-side models, such as the standard neoclassical, juxtaposed against essentially demand-side approaches such as the export-base and cumulative causation models (as integrated into the Kaldorian approach); before moving on to the ‘present’ and more recent versions of the neoclassical model involving spatial weights and ‘convergence clubs’, as well as new economic geography core–periphery models, and the ‘innovation systems’ approach. A key feature of the more recent literature is an attempt to explicitly include spatial factors into the model, and thus there is a renewed emphasis on agglomeration economies and spillovers. Discussing ‘present’ and ‘future’ approaches to regional growth overlaps with the current emphasis in the literature on the importance of more intangible factors such as the role of ‘knowledge’ and its influence on growth. Finally, there is a discussion of the greater emphasis that needs to be placed at the ‘micro-level’ when considering what drives growth, and thus factors such as inter alia firm heterogeneity, entrepreneurship and absorptive capacity.

Aside from the invited papers and responses to them, the conference will also of course feature keynotes and publishing workshops, as well as free journal issues, book discounts, best comment prizes and more. Find out more by registering on the right-hand side of the page.

Abstract: Kip Viscusi, Value of Statistical Life

4 11 2011

Our second abstract for today, outlining Kip Viscusi‘s “Puzzles in the Literature on the Value of Statistical Life“:

Notwithstanding the general acceptance of the value of statistical life (VSL) estimates for policy assessment purposes, several important unresolved issues remain. First, the results from revealed preference studies are systematically higher than those from stated preference studies, potentially limiting the usefulness of stated preference studies in generalizing the VSL estimates to different populations and kinds of risks. Second, extrapolating the results of meta-analyses to project the VSL for different population groups requires that such generalization be reflective of the underlying economic content of what average VSL estimates reflect. Third, government agencies within and across countries place differing emphasis on types of VSL studies as well as differing reliance on individual studies versus meta-analyses. Usually, there is no justification provided for the chosen approach.

The full paper and responses to it will be published on Thursday 17 November 2011 at 12:00 GMT.

Abstract: George MacKerron, Happiness Economics

4 11 2011

We’re making a final three abstracts available today, the first of which is for George MacKerron‘s paper “Happiness Economics from 35,000 feet“:

The economics of happiness, or subjective well being, is an expanding field, with a growing number of applied papers reporting empirical associations between happiness and other variables. This paper takes a broad view of the topic, aiming to provide an outline of the literature in relation to happiness economics’ origins, definitions, theory, methods, applications, critiques, relations with other areas of economic research, political and policy connections, and promising directions for future inquiry.

It’s a highly pertinent topic specifically in the UK, where the Office for National Statistics released its indicators of national well-being (PDF) this Monday, 31 October 2011; the BBC has a story on the ONS document here. We’re looking forward to a good discussion around the paper on Thursday 17 November 2011.

Abstract: Arestis and Mihailov, Classifying Monetary Economics

3 11 2011

We’re releasing a second abstract today, for Philip Arestis and Alexander Mihailov‘s paper “Classifying Monetary Economics: Fields and Methods from Past to Future”:

We propose a simple, yet sufficiently encompassing, classification scheme of monetary economics. It comprises three fundamental fields and six recent areas that expand within and across these fields. The elements of our scheme are not found together and in their mutual relationships in earlier studies of the relevant literature; neither does this attempt aim to produce a relatively complete systematization. Our intention in taking stock is not finality or exhaustiveness. We rather suggest a viewpoint and a possible ordering of the accumulating knowledge. Our purpose is to promote discussion on the evolving nature and internal consistency of monetary economics at large.

We’ll be posting a further three abstracts over the coming days, after which there’ll be some radio silence until closer to the start of the conference itself on Wednesday 16 November 2011.

Abstract: Alm and Banzhaf, Designing Economics Instruments

2 11 2011

With only two weeks to go until the start of the conference, we’re excited to release the abstract for the first of our invited papers, James Alm and H. Spencer Banzhaf’s “Designing Economics Instruments for the Environment in a Decentralised Fiscal System“:

When external effects are important, markets will be inefficient, and economists have considered several broad classes of economic instruments to correct these inefficiencies. However, the standard economic analysis has tended to take the region, and the government, as a given; that is, this work has neglected important distinctions and interactions between the geographic scope of different pollutants, the enforcement authority of various levels of government, and the fiscal responsibilities of the various levels of government. It typically ignores the possibility that the externality may be created and addressed by local governments, and it does not consider the implications of decentralization for the design of economic instruments targeted at environmental problems. This paper examines the implications of decentralization for the design of corrective policies; that is, how does one design economic instruments in a decentralized fiscal system in which externalities exist at the local level and in which subnational governments have the power to provide local public services and to choose tax instruments that can both finance these expenditures and correct the market failures of externalities?

The full paper and invited responses will be released on the first day of the conference, Wednesday 16 November, and all conference delegates will have the opportunity to engage in discussion of the topics raised. Over the coming weeks we will be releasing further abstracts and other “teaser content”, so be sure to register and sign up for email alerts or RSS feed to the right.