Economic Development and Growth

Economic Development & Growth

What makes countries’ economies grow towards a developed status is a subject of much debate, with competing approaches vying to assert their superiority. Free markets or state-led? National champions or free enterprise? Diversification or competitive advantage? This EconPol topic area cuts through dogmas and philosophies to find which factors actually drive economic growth, under what circumstances, and which ones make it sustainable.  It looks at strategies, policies, and initiatives aimed at enhancing productivity, promoting innovation, and creating favorable conditions for economic progress, and examines the role of various drivers of economic development, such as investment, entrepreneurship, technological advances, human capital development, and institutional frameworks. It also explores the challenges and opportunities associated with economic growth, including income inequality, environmental sustainability, and the distribution of resources.

Related articles

Green Transition: How to Make It Finally Happen?

Niko Jaakkola and Riccardo Rovelli, Lorenzo Forni and Massimo Tavoni, Karen Pittel, Alessio Terzi and Roger Fouquet, Luisa Carpinelli and Daniele Franco, Simone Borghesi and Albert Ferrari, Niko Jaakkola, Frederick van der Ploeg and Anthony Venables, Gianmarco Ottaviano

The devastating effects of climate change are becoming increasingly evident. It is difficult to accurately predict or even quantify the risks. Despite this threat, the pace of change is slow. Why is the world failing to tackle this problem collectively and effectively? What constraints are holding us back? How can we overcome them and contribute to the formulation of a credible and acceptable climate policy? What policy instruments can help pave the way to the green transition?

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It’s in the Data – Improved Market Power Mitigation in Electricity Markets


Jacqueline Adelowo, Moritz Bohland

In electricity markets, market power is typically measured by the difference between observed offers and underlying marginal (variable) cost of power production. Therefore, marginal cost estimates should be as accurate as possible to ensure unbiased measurement of market power and welfare-improving mitigation thereof. However, cost components and power plant characteristics are private information and firms have an incentive to overstate costs. Instead, system operators thus proxy marginal cost of power plants from past offers of the respective plant, which leaves room for strategic manipulation by firms. This article tests the accuracy of this best-practice benchmark approach against multiple suggested alternative methods. The results of our empirical analysis reveal a low estimation accuracy of the currently applied benchmark approach. All suggested alternative approaches deliver more precise estimates.

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Economic Growth and Ecological Sustainability

Can Economic Growth and Ecological Sustainability Coexist?

Expert Opinion
Is long-term economic growth compatible with ecologically sustainable development? This question stands as one of the most debated issues of our time. Over the past decades, growth driven by economic liberalization and globalization has brought prosperity to billions and reduced global poverty. However, this positive trajectory has come at a high cost to the environment and the depletion of natural resources. The limitations of economic growth at the expense of the environment are evident. Sustainable economic prosperity can only be achieved in the long run if it is coupled with ecological sustainability.
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A “Green Revolution” for Sub-Saharan Africa? Challenges and Opportunities

Michael Bernardi, Christa Hainz, Paulina Maier, Maria Waldinger

Sub-Saharan Africa ranks as one of the world’s poorest regions. The causes of this are exceptionally complex, with political instability, lack of security, low levels of education, poor access to infrastructure and lack of integration into global trade networks as the leading explanations, among others. In recent decades, economists and agricultural development experts have been looking for ways to increase agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa through improved seeds, fertilisers and more modern farming technologies. This article looks at the measures in question, what has been done so far, and how scientists assess the effectiveness of these measures on agricultural productivity and poverty reduction. Finally, we present concrete recommendations.

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Taxation and Innovation: How R&D Tax Credit Schemes Foster Innovation in the Private Sector


Oliver Falck, Anna Kerkhof, Christian Pfaffl

Innovations form the backbone of sustained economic growth and, as such, they play a key role in safeguarding prosperity. Governments, aware of this, invest heavily in public research at universities and research institutes, and strive to create ideal conditions for private sector research and development (R&D), usually through specific R&D tax credit schemes or direct funding.

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