Engineers, Innovative Capacity and Development in the Americas

66 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2014

See all articles by William F. Maloney

William F. Maloney

World Bank - Poverty and Economic Management Unit; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Felipe Valencia Caicedo

Vancouver School of Economics

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Abstract

Using newly collected national and sub-national data and historical case studies, this paper argues that differences in innovative capacity, captured by the density of engineers at the dawn of the Second Industrial Revolution, are important to explaining present income differences, and, in particular, the poor performance of Latin America relative to North America. This remains the case after controlling for literacy, other higher order human capital, such as lawyers, as well as demand side elements that might be confounded with engineering. The analysis then finds that agglomeration, certain geographical fundamentals, and extractive institutions such as slavery affect innovative capacity. However, a large effect associated with being a Spanish colony remains suggesting important inherited factors.

Keywords: innovative capacity, engineers, technology diffusion, human capital, growth, development, history

JEL Classification: O1, O31, O33, O4, N1

Suggested Citation

Maloney, William F. and Valencia Caicedo, Felipe, Engineers, Innovative Capacity and Development in the Americas. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8271. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2462703

William F. Maloney (Contact Author)

World Bank - Poverty and Economic Management Unit ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

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Felipe Valencia Caicedo

Vancouver School of Economics ( email )

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Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://https://economics.ubc.ca/faculty-and-staff/felipe-valencia-caicedo/

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