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Arvind Subramanian

Bio: Arvind Subramanian is an academic researcher from Center for Global Development. The author has contributed to research in topics: Free trade & Globalization. The author has an hindex of 64, co-authored 220 publications receiving 20452 citations. Previous affiliations of Arvind Subramanian include International Monetary Fund & Johns Hopkins University.


Papers
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TL;DR: In this paper, the authors estimate the respective contributions of institutions, geography, and trade in determining income levels around the world, using recently developed instrumental variables for institutions and trade, and conclude that the quality of institutions "trumps" everything else.
Abstract: We estimate the respective contributions of institutions, geography, and trade in determining income levels around the world, using recently developed instrumental variables for institutions and trade. Our results indicate that the quality of institutions “trumps” everything else. Once institutions are controlled for, conventional measures of geography have at best weak direct effects on incomes, although they have a strong indirect effect by influencing the quality of institutions. Similarly, once institutions are controlled for, trade is almost always insignificant, and often enters the income equation with the “wrong” (i.e., negative) sign. We relate our results to recent literature, and where differences exist, trace their origins to choices on samples, specification, and instrumentation.

3,768 citations

Posted Content
TL;DR: This article proposed a solution for addressing the resource curse which involves directly distributing the oil revenues to the public, which will, at the least, be vastly superior to the status quo and could fundamentally improve the quality of public institutions and, as a result, durably raise long-run growth performance.
Abstract: Some natural resources - oil and minerals in particular - exert a negative and nonlinear impact on growth via their deleterious impact on institutional quality. We show this result to be very robust. The Nigerian experience provides telling confirmation of this aspect of natural resources. Waste and poor institutional quality stemming from oil appear to have been primarily responsible for Nigeria's poor long-run economic performance. We propose a solution for addressing this resource curse which involves directly distributing the oil revenues to the public. Even with all the difficulties that will no doubt plague its actual implementation, our proposal will, at the least, be vastly superior to the status quo. At best, however, it could fundamentally improve the quality of public institutions and, as a result, durably raise long-run growth performance.

1,051 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article examined the effects of aid on growth in cross-sectional and panel data, after correcting for the possible bias that poorer (or stronger) growth may draw aid contributions to recipient co
Abstract: We examine the effects of aid on growth in cross-sectional and panel data—after correcting for the possible bias that poorer (or stronger) growth may draw aid contributions to recipient co

833 citations

Posted Content
TL;DR: The authors showed that industrial countries participated more actively than developing countries in reciprocal trade negotiations, and bilateral trade was greater when both partners undertook liberalization than when only one partner did, and sectors that did not witness liberalization did not see an increase in trade.
Abstract: This paper furnishes robust evidence that the WTO has had a powerful and positive impact on trade, amounting to about 120% of additional world trade (or US$8 trillion in 2003 alone). The impact has, however, been uneven. This, in many ways, is consistent with theoretical models of the GATT/WTO. The theory suggests that the impact of a country’s membership in the GATT/WTO depends on what the country does with its membership, with whom it negotiates, and which products the negotiation covers. Using a properly specified gravity model, we find evidence consistent with these predictions. First, industrial countries that participated more actively than developing countries in reciprocal trade negotiations witnessed a large increase in trade. Second, bilateral trade was greater when both partners undertook liberalization than when only one partner did. Third, sectors that did not witness liberalization did not see an increase in trade.

663 citations

ReportDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors find no evidence that providing financing in excess of domestic saving is the channel through which financial integration delivers its benefits, at least conditional on their existing institutional and financial structures.
Abstract: Nonindustrial countries that have relied more on foreign finance have not grown faster in the long run as standard theoretical models predict. The reason may lie in these countries’ limited ability to absorb foreign capital, especially because their financial systems have difficulty allocating it to productive uses, and because their currencies are prone to appreciation (and often overvaluation) when such inflows occur. The current anomaly of poor countries financing rich countries may not really hurt the former’s growth, at least conditional on their existing institutional and financial structures. Our results do not imply that foreign finance has no role in development or that all types of capital naturally flow “uphill.” Indeed, the patterns associated with foreign direct investment flows have generally been more consistent with theoretical predictions. However, we find no evidence that providing financing in excess of domestic saving is the channel through which financial integration delivers its benefits.

556 citations


Cited by
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TL;DR: The Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH) as mentioned in this paper was created to marshal the evidence on what can be done to promote health equity and to foster a global movement to achieve it.

7,335 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson as discussed by the authors used estimates of potential European settler mortality as an instrument for institutional variation in former European colonies today, and they followed the lead of Curtin who compiled data on the death rates faced by European soldiers in various overseas postings.
Abstract: In Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson, henceforth AJR, (2001), we advanced the hypothesis that the mortality rates faced by Europeans in different parts of the world after 1500 affected their willingness to establish settlements and choice of colonization strategy. Places that were relatively healthy (for Europeans) were—when they fell under European control—more likely to receive better economic and political institutions. In contrast, places where European settlers were less likely to go were more likely to have “extractive” institutions imposed. We also posited that this early pattern of institutions has persisted over time and influences the extent and nature of institutions in the modern world. On this basis, we proposed using estimates of potential European settler mortality as an instrument for institutional variation in former European colonies today. Data on settlers themselves are unfortunately patchy—particularly because not many went to places they believed, with good reason, to be most unhealthy. We therefore followed the lead of Curtin (1989 and 1998) who compiled data on the death rates faced by European soldiers in various overseas postings. 1 Curtin’s data were based on pathbreaking data collection and statistical work initiated by the British military in the mid-nineteenth century. These data became part of the foundation of both contemporary thinking about public health (for soldiers and for civilians) and the life insurance industry (as actuaries and executives considered the

6,495 citations

Posted Content
TL;DR: This article showed that the gravity model usually estimated does not correspond to the theory behind it and showed that national borders reduce trade between the US and Canada by about 44% while reducing trade among other industrialized countries by about 30%.
Abstract: The gravity model has been widely used to infer substantial trade flow effects of institutions such as customs unions and exchange rate mechanisms. McCallum [1995] found that the US-Canada border led to trade between provinces that is a factor 22 (2,200%) times trade between states and provinces, a spectacular puzzle in light of the low formal barriers on this border. We show that the gravity model usually estimated does not correspond to the theory behind it. We solve the 'border puzzle' by applying the theory seriously. We find that national borders reduce trade between the US and Canada by about 44%, while reducing trade among other industrialized countries by about 30%. McCallum's spectacular headline number is the result of a combination of omitted variables bias and the small size of the Canadian economy. Within-Canada trade rises by a factor 6 due to the border. In contrast, within-US trade rises 25%.

6,043 citations