Structural Development Accounting

53 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011

See all articles by Gino A. Gancia

Gino A. Gancia

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Centre de Recerca en Economia Internacional (CREI)

Andreas Müller

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Fabrizio Zilibotti

Yale University; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: February 2011


We construct and estimate a unified model combining three of the main sources of cross-country income disparities: differences in factor endowments, barriers to technology adoption and the inappropriateness of frontier technologies to local conditions. The key components are different types of workers, distortions to capital accumulation, directed technical change, costly adoption and spillovers from the world technology frontier. Despite its parsimonious parametrization, our empirical model provides a good fit of GDP data for up to 86 countries in 1970 and 122 countries in 2000. Removing barriers to technology adoption would increase the output per worker of the average non-OECD country relative to the US from 0.19 to 0.61, while increasing skill premia in all countries. Removing barriers to trade in goods amplifies income disparities, induces skill-biased technology adoption and increases skill premia in the majority of countries. These results are reverted if trade liberalization is coupled with international IPR protection.

Keywords: Development Accounting, Directed Technology Adoption, Distance to Frontier, Inappropriate Technologies, Productivity, Skill-biased Technical Change, TFP differences

JEL Classification: F43, O11, O31, O33, O38, O41, O43, O47

Suggested Citation

Gancia, Gino A. and Müller, Andreas and Zilibotti, Fabrizio, Structural Development Accounting (February 2011). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8254, Available at SSRN:

Gino A. Gancia (Contact Author)

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Centre de Recerca en Economia Internacional (CREI) ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, 08005

Andreas Müller

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Fabrizio Zilibotti

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom

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