This article documents a rapid shift toward services (tertiarization) of the Chinese economy since 2005, as evidenced by the significant increase in both employment and value-added shares of the service sector. Notably, our analysis reveals that a variety of measures of productivity growth have been greater in the service sector than in the manufacturing sector. Firm-level measures of dynamism corroborate this ongoing tertiarization trend, which is not limited to services used as inputs to industrial production but extends also to consumer services. These findings are robust across different growth accounting methodologies, including a recently proposed method by Fan et al. (2023) that addresses challenges associated with the measurement of quality improvements in service industries.
Structural transformation in most currently developing countries takes the form of a rapid rise in services but limited industrialization. In this paper, we propose a new methodology to structurally estimate productivity growth in service industries that circumvents the notorious difficulties in measuring quality improvements. In our theory, the expansion of the service sector is both a consequence—due to income effects—and a cause—due to productivity growth—of the development process. We estimate the model using Indian household data. We find that productivity growth in nontradable consumer services such as retail, restaurants, or residential real estate was an important driver of structural transformation and rising living standards between 1987 and 2011. However, the welfare gains were heavily skewed toward high-income urban dwellers.
To counteract the adverse effects of shocks, such as the global pandemic, on the economy, governments have discussed policies to improve the resilience of supply chains by reducing dependence on foreign suppliers. In this paper, we develop and quantify an adaptive production network model to study network resilience and the consequences of reshoring of supply chains. In our model, firms exit due to exogenous shocks or the propagation of shocks through the network, while firms can replace suppliers they have lost due to exit subject to switching costs and search frictions. Applying our model to a large international firm-level production network dataset, we find that restricting buyer–supplier links via reshoring policies reduces output and increases volatility and that volatility can be amplified through network adaptivity.
We construct an endogenous growth model with random interactions where firms are subject to distortions. The TFP distribution evolves endogenously as firms seek to upgrade their technology over time either by innovating or by imitating other firms. We use the model to quantify the effects of misallocation on TFP growth in emerging economies. We structurally estimate the stationary state of the dynamic model targeting moments of the empirical distribution of R&D and TFP growth in China during the period 2007–2012. The estimated model fits the Chinese data well. We compare the estimates with those obtained using data for Taiwan and perform counterfactuals to study the effect of alternative policies. R&D misallocation has a large effect on TFP growth.
What are the effects of school closures during the Covid-19 pandemic on children’s education? Online education is an imperfect substitute for in-person learning, particularly for children from low-income families. Peer effects also change: schools allow children from different socio-economic backgrounds to mix together, and this effect is lost when schools are closed. Another factor is the response of parents, some of whom compensate for the changed environment through their own efforts, while others are unable to do so. We examine the interaction of these factors with the aid of a structural model of skill formation. We find that school closures have a large, persistent, and unequal effect on human capital accumulation. High school students from low-income neighborhoods suffer a learning loss of 0.4 standard deviations after a one-year school closure, whereas children from high-income neighborhoods initially remain unscathed. The channels operating through schools, peers, and parents all contribute to growing educational inequality during the pandemic.
We construct a model of rm dynamics with heterogenous productivity and distortions. The productivity distribution evolves endogenously as the result of the decisions of ﬁrms seeking to upgrade their productivity over time. Firms can adopt two strategies toward that end: imitation and innovation. The theory bears predictions about the evolution of the productivity distribution. We structurally estimate the stationary state of the dynamic model targeting moments of the empirical distribution of R&D and TFP growth in China during the period 2007-2012. The estimated model ts the Chinese data well. We compare the estimates with those obtained using data for Taiwan and ﬁnd the results to be robust. We perform counterfactuals to study the eﬀect of alternative policies. We ﬁnd large eﬀects of R&D misallocation on long-run growth.
As children reach adolescence, peer interactions become increasingly central to their development, whereas the direct influence of parents wanes. Nevertheless, parents may continue to exert leverage by shaping their children's peer groups. We study interactions of parenting style and peer effects in a model where children's skill accumulation depends on both parental inputs and peers, and where parents can affect the peer group by restricting who their children can interact with. We estimate the model and show that it can capture empirical patterns regarding the interaction of peer characteristics, parental behavior, and skill accumulation among US high school students. We use the estimated model for policy simulations. We find that interventions (e.g., busing) that move children to a more favorable neighborhood have large effects but lose impact when they are scaled up because parents' equilibrium responses push against successful integration with the new peer group.
We document that the nature of business cycles evolves over the process of development and structural change. In countries with large declining agricultural sectors, aggregate employment is uncorrelated with GDP.
During booms, employment in agriculture declines while labor productivity increases in agriculture more than in other sectors. We construct a uniﬁed theory of business cycles and structural change consistent with the stylized facts. The focal point of the theory is the simultaneous decline and modernization of agriculture. As capital accumulates, agriculture becomes increasingly capital intensive as modern agriculture crowds out traditional agriculture. Structural change accelerates in booms and slows down in recessions. We estimate the model and show that it accounts well for both the structural transformation and the business cycle fluctuations of China.
Parents everywhere want their children to be happy and do well. Yet how parents seek to achieve this ambition varies enormously. For instance, American and Chinese parents are increasingly authoritative and authoritarian, whereas Scandinavian parents tend to be more permissive. Why? Love, Money, and Parenting investigates how economic forces and growing inequality shape how parents raise their children. From medieval times to the present, and from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Sweden to China and Japan, Matthias Doepke and Fabrizio Zilibotti look at how economic incentives and constraints—such as money, knowledge, and time—influence parenting practices and what is considered good parenting in diﬀerent countries.
Through personal anecdotes and original research, Doepke and Zilibotti show that in countries with increasing economic inequality, such as the United States, parents push harder to ensure their children have a path to security and success. Economics has transformed the hands-oﬀ parenting of the 1960s and ’70s into a frantic, overscheduled activity. Growing inequality has also resulted in an increasing “parenting gap” between richer and poorer families, raising the disturbing prospect of diminished social mobility and fewer opportunities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. In nations with less economic inequality, such as Sweden, the stakes are less high, and social mobility is not under threat. Doepke and Zilibotti discuss how investments in early childhood development and the design of education systems factor into the parenting equation, and how economics can help shape policies that will contribute to the ideal of equal opportunity for all.