Although modern growth theories regard human capital endowment as a determinant of economic growth rates, econometric research does not consistently support this view by empirical evidence. In principle, this discrepancy might arise either from misleading theories or from poor measurement of human capital endowment. Here, it is argued that poor measurement is the culprit, and that one should substitute results from psychological testing, i.e.IQ, for widely accepted measures based on schooling. In order to demonstrate both the superiority of IQ over schooling derived measures as well as the robustness of IQ effects on growth, the new measure is entered in the Mankiw, Romer and Weil and the De Long and Summers frameworks which differ in the specification of growth equations and, in particular, in their treatment of investment. It is demonstrated that IQ effects are at least about equally strong and robust determinants of growth as catch-up opportunities, whether investment is included or excluded, narrowly or broadly defined. If investment is included, its effects are in the same order of magnitude as those of catch-up opportunities or IQ. Since IQ is correlated with state antiquity, since state antiquity might offer
At the end of the 1970s the per capita income ratio between the Soviet Union and China was 16 to 1. By now, the gap between Russia and China is closing rapidly. Although the collapse and dissolution of the Soviet Union contributed to this levelling of per capita incomes, domestic factors and improvements in China look more important: decollectivization of Chinese agriculture, the establishment of township village enterprises in China, economic openness and market-preserving federalism in China. In all these respects, even post-Soviet Russia continues to lag. Admittedly, Russia was faster than China in privatizing state owned enterprises but the preferential treatment of insiders and the weakness of the rule of law or functional substitutes for it neutralized this potential Russian advantage.
Globalization may be defined by a worldwide division of labor and increasing trade between nations. This is inconceivable without expanding economic freedom across the world. Free trade and globalization increase competition, productivity, and economic growth rates. In spite of increasing inequality within many large economies – including the US, China, and Russia – inequality between human beings and households has been reduced. Since catch-up growth in big Asian economies contributes to Schumpeterian “creative destruction,” it necessitates rich economies to adapt, to become ever more entrepreneurial and innovative. This generates resentment and strengthens protectionist excesses which might serve some special interests. But protectionism harms the global economy, the prospects of the poor to grow out of poverty and, worse still, likely increases the risk of war.