My publications have received hundreds of citations, I have received various grants and fellowships including Fulbright, and I have been invited to NBER Summer Institutes.
PhD in Economics, Southern Methodist University
Intermediate macroeconomics and principles macroeconomics at Seton Hall University
Working Papers by Topic
Long-Term Economic Growth and Income Gaps
We use the experience of Central/East European and former Soviet Union ex-socialist countries to show the role of macro, meso and micro institutions in catch up/fall behind economic development. Greater experience of state-level government fosters economic development; the extent of socialist entrenchment measured by years under socialism hurts it - by lowering the initial (1996) value of institutional development measure; and joining the EU boosts it. The higher than OECD level of human capital at transition is not sufficient to overcome the self-serving behavior of old socialist elite/new opaque business networks that emerge to exploit the complex/uncertain environment upon communism’s collapse. Accepting and implementing the European Union rules, regulations, and norms upon joining it permits building of transparent networks and lifts economic development. Human capital is the most important factor for economic development, not total factor productivity. Suggesting dichotomy between institutions and human capital is misleading. Skilled/educated labor needs the right institutions to create value it is capable of - institutions’ effect on economic development is channeled through human capital.
Experience of European ex-socialist countries is exploited for two quasi-natural experiments: growth effects of a) transition to a market economy, and b) accession to the European Union (EU). A large number of countries adopting regime change simultaneously; and ten of them - who had rapidly liberalized externally to the maximum extent in early 1990s - joining EU in 2004/2006 provides a rich setting. Post-privatization growth varies by ex-ante institutional settings - whether they existed as separate countries before 1991 or whether they came into being by break-up of a larger block - and by their ex-post aspiration of (and then) joining the EU. Using the difference-in-differences methodology, we show privatization did not boost growth of the “old” ex-socialist countries at all; and widened the income gap of most of the “new” ex-socialist countries from Germany. But “new” ex-socialist countries that joined the EU stop their absolute divergence from Germany, and “old” ex-socialist countries - all joined EU in 2004/2006 - achieve boost in growth, from the accession year. We examine by panel estimation which factor, TFP, capital-intensity, or human capital, is behind these results. Instead of TFP, these effects are mostly driven by human capital; as is the very sharp falling-behind of CIS countries. Joining the EU and adopting its norms and institutions manifests in greater human capital contribution. This work a) presents a nuanced perspective on privatization’s effect on growth, and b) identifies human capital to be the proximate factor through which the fundamental factor of institutions promotes growth.
South Asian (SA) countries’ growth-dynamics since 1951 is examined and compared using the annual catch-up index. Their growth is more volatile than countries in general. It does not experience a stable phase, is sharply divergent, and the country that grows fastest for two decades grows slowest in the following decade, and vice versa. Other than Bhutan, they experienced relative and absolute divergence from the US from the start for 29 (Nepal) to 51 (Pakistan) years. Their still-birth rates (SBR) vary as much as nine times from each other; its rate of decrease is smaller than neonatal mortality’s (NMR), both rates’ dispersion increases, and adding SBR doubles NMR’s “explanation” of life expectancy (LE). NMR and SBR have decreased at a lower rate in the SA country with an initial higher rate; and better performance in income is associated with a worse performance in SBR, NMR, and LE in recent decades
The existing empirical literature has either not sufficiently examined growth dynamics or relied on events-studies of turning points that fail to explain growth (or do it adequately). We study growth relative to a frontier country, take explanatory variables also as ratios, and examine determinants of growth separately for periods of relative convergence (r-convergence) versus divergence. Sub-Saharan African countries are eminently suitable for examination because they experience both copiously, have quite granular data, and the number of periods for the two experiences is almost the same. We use the neo-classical growth model and panel estimation; including the “between” estimator. The main difference of the divergence panels from the r-convergence panels is on the role of human capital. When human capital is contributing to growth in a statistically significant way, countries are catching-up in relative income; when it is not, they are falling behind both relatively and absolutely. Comparing this paper to the literature, we study growth dynamics independent of events-study, have a stream-lined study of dynamics, take long periods averaging 20-30 years, find TFP to be less important than human capital for both income growth and income levels, and the excess-effect of human capital over TFP is about 2.5 times for growth than for income levels.
“The Developing World Since 1951: PPP Income, Catching-Up/Falling Behind, and No Growth,” November 2018, Cited by two
The author has recently, defining a catch-up index, growth as catching-up, and deriving an equation for years for absolute convergence, shown Sub-Saharan Africa has fallen behind sharply and, even considering India’s population-weight, South Asia has barely shown any growth since 1951 (growing at 0.16% rate giving 1642 years for convergence). This paper extends the analysis to all developing countries and distinguishes catch-up of a country’s income from absolute poverty and global inter-personal distribution of income on grounds country of residence matters. It shows the developing world (excluding China and one/two countries) consisting of 99/100 countries with 3.9/4.0b. population has not shown any growth since either 1951 or 1971; and its incomes have diverged continuously. It opines that to qualify as economic growth, one should look at data for longer than 20 years: Of the 30 best performers during 1991-2010, ten fell-behind and eight did not catch-up faster than 0.5% annually when their performance is examined over longer periods. If data for 12 excluded countries were available, conclusions would likely be worse.
Globalization and Institutions
"Multinational Corporations and Institutions" November, 2018.
This paper examines whether the recent conclusion that foreign direct investment (FDI) has a positive effect on institutions in developing countries depends on a country having reached a certain threshold level of institutional quality. The relevant literature has recently coalesced around the view effects of capital account globalization on growth are elusive; its main benefit is likely to be collateral. We examine the collateral impact on institutions of investment through a multinational corporation and using cross-section analysis. We show FDI’s positive effect on institutions in developing countries is driven by upper middle income countries. When the institutional quality is very low, FDI cannot lift it; when it reaches a middle level, it can. In view of persistent global inequality, and failure of developing countries to catch-up, and recent emphasis on “fundamental” causes of growth (like institutions) as distinguished from “proximate” causes like physical capital, labor in efficiency units, and technology of the Solow model, understanding how institutions may be affected is important.
“Foreign Aid and Long-Term Prospects of Recipients,” November 2018
The central role of institutions in economic growth and international disparities has been recognized in the last two decades. This paper examines the effect of foreign aid in the form of grants and concessional loans on economic institutions. It uses a sample of 127 recipient countries. Institutional data from Doing Business database are employed. Three alternative control variables, including a per capita income variable, are used. We show foreign aid worsens institutions, though this effect is small. Donor countries will be well-advised to design their aid programs to focus on institutions while recipients need to improve their institutions so that foreigners’ charity is not wasted.
Published Papers by Topic
Total citations to my papers: 591 (including some to working papers)
For list of citations, see, my Google Scholar profile here.
Stillbirths and Life Expectancy, Total Citations: One
"Stillbirths: How should its rate be reported, its disability-adjusted-life-years (DALY), and stillbirths adjusted life expectancy, "BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, Vol. 19 (2019), pp. 133-140, Cited by: One
Long-Term Economic Growth and Income Gaps, Total Citations: 11
Globalization and Institutions, Total Citations: 21.
“Financial Openness & Institutions In Developing Countries,” Research in International Business and Finance, Vol. 46, December 2018, pp 240-250, Cited by: Four
“Are Institutions In Developing Countries Malleable,” Journal of Policy Modeling, Vol. 38 (2016), Issue 2, pp. 272-289. Cited by: 17
Capital Flight and Capital Flows, Total Citations: 277
“Relationship Between Different Types of Private Flows To Developing Countries,” Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis in Social Sciences, Vol. 4 (2010), Issue 1, pp. 58-82, Cited by: Six
“Capital Flight,” Commissioned Entry in the Encyclopedia of Globalization, Vol. I (2007), R. Robertson and J.A. Scholte (eds.), published by Routledge. ISBN # 0-415-97314-7
“Capital Mobility among Advanced Countries.” Journal of Policy Modeling, Vol. 27, December 2005, pp. 1067-1081, Cited by Six
“What is Capital Flight?” The World Economy, Vol. 25, No. 3, March 2002, pp. 341-358, Cited by 52
“Capital Inflows and Capital Flight – Individual Countries Experience,“ Journal of Economic Integration, December 1998, pp. 644-61, Cited by 27
“Foreign Direct Investment and Capital Flight” Princeton Studies in International Finance, No. 80 (1996), International Finance Section, Department of Economics, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, Cited by 186
Transfer Pricing, Total Citations: 278
“Minority Ownership, Deferral, Perverse Intra-firm Trade and Tariffs,” International Economic Journal, Spring 1995, pp. 19-39. Cited by 24
“Multinational Firms and Government Revenues,” Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 42 (1990), Issue 2, pp. 135-47/ Cited by 83
“Endogenous Transfer Pricing and the Effects of Uncertain Regulation,” Journal of International Economics, 24 (1988), 147-157; Cited by 121