Patrick Collison
After several centuries without measurable productivity growth, real wages seem to have started to gr...

After several centuries without measurable productivity growth, real wages seem to have started to grow circa 1640, 150 years before the Industrial Revolution. It's not clear why this happened. The nature of the phenomenon is also debated.

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Patrick Collison
"As Cowen argues, our economy has enjoyed low-hanging fruit since the seventeenth century: free land,...

"As Cowen argues, our economy has enjoyed low-hanging fruit since the seventeenth century: free land, immigrant labor, and powerful new technologies. But during the last forty years, the low-hanging fruit started disappearing, and we started pretending it was still there. We have failed to recognize that we are at a technological plateau."

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Patrick Collison
"This column analyses the diffusion of legal institutions that established Europe’s first large-scale...

"This column analyses the diffusion of legal institutions that established Europe’s first large-scale experiments in mass public education. [...] Cities that formalised these institutions grew faster over the next 200 years, both by attracting and by producing more highly skilled residents."

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Patrick Collison
"I argue that the crux was a “marriage of engineering culture and entrepreneurship.” That is, elites...

"I argue that the crux was a “marriage of engineering culture and entrepreneurship.” That is, elites developed a new “engineering culture” that spread beliefs wholly different from those behind Renaissance, Medieval, or Classical approaches to knowledge and craft production." See also Mokyr, below.

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Patrick Collison
"A review of Russell 1986's 'Like Engend'ring Like: Heredity and Animal Breeding in Early Modern Engl...

"A review of Russell 1986's 'Like Engend'ring Like: Heredity and Animal Breeding in Early Modern England', describing development of selective breeding and discussing models of the psychology and sociology of innovation."

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Patrick Collison
"Large differences in output per worker between rich and poor countries have been attributed, in no s...

"Large differences in output per worker between rich and poor countries have been attributed, in no small part, to differences in Total Factor Productivity (TFP). The natural question then is: what are the underlying causes of these large TFP differences? [...] A recent paper by Restuccia and Rogerson (2008) takes a different approach. Instead of focusing on the efficiency of a representative firm, they suggest that misallocation of resources across firms can have important effects on aggregate TFP. Our goal in this paper is to provide quantitative evidence on the potential impact of resource misallocation on aggregate TFP. [...] We find that moving to “U.S. efficiency” would increase TFP by 30-50% in China and 40-60% in India."

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Patrick Collison
"Using the unique dataset from Ravelry—the Facebook of knitters—I study why and how some knitters be...

"Using the unique dataset from Ravelry—the Facebook of knitters—I study why and how some knitters become designers. I show that knitters who make the entrepreneurial transition are distinctive in that they have experience in fewer techniques and more product categories. I also show that this transition is facilitated by participation in offline social networks where knitters garner feedback and encouragement."

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Patrick Collison
"Why are people in the richest countries of the world so much richer today than 100 years ago? And wh...

"Why are people in the richest countries of the world so much richer today than 100 years ago? And why are some countries so much richer than others? Questions such as these define the field of economic growth. This paper documents the facts that underlie these questions."

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Patrick Collison
"Mokyr argues that a culture of growth specific to early modern Europe and the European Enlightenment...

"Mokyr argues that a culture of growth specific to early modern Europe and the European Enlightenment laid the foundations for the scientific advances and pioneering inventions that would instigate explosive technological and economic development."

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Patrick Collison
"An ample literature has highlighted the importance of human capital for economic development in the...

"An ample literature has highlighted the importance of human capital for economic development in the modern world. However, its role during the Industrial Revolution is typically found to be minor. [...] We show that distinguishing between average worker skills and upper tail knowledge is crucial, reinstating the role of human capital for industrialization."

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