14th Call for ERG Proposals – Deadline: 31 March 2014

The Centre for Economic Policy Research, through its Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries initiative, invites applications for its major research grants. These grants will support research that aims to better understand what determines the strength of market forces driving efficiency in low-income countries. Proposals should address the following themes:

•modelling market frictions in LICs using newly available data;

•micro-foundations of aggregate private sector performance;

•the dynamics of small and medium-sized enterprises – informality and entrepreneurship;

•the role of export-oriented industries in driving growth;

•micro studies of markets, including the role of intermediaries and contractual enforcement;

•identifying high growth microenterprises;

•agglomeration and other issues related to cities and firms.

Proposals that address cross-cutting issues such as fragile and conflict-affected states, gender, and climate, environment and social compliance are encouraged.

Organisations and institutions worldwide may apply. Joint proposals from consortia will be considered provided they have an appropriate legal arrangement. Grants are designed to fund teaching buyouts for principal investigators, research assistance and data collection and surveys in LICs. Grants are worth a minimum of £100,000, with an average grant size of £300,000. There is no upper limit.

Funder’s webpage

Barcelona Political Economy Summer School

The Barcelona Political Economy Summer School will be offered by the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics from June 30 to July 11, 2014. It is directed by Patricia Funk, Associate Professor of Economics at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Professor Funk is a Barcelona GSE Affiliated Professor.

The Barcelona Political Economy Summer School offers courses on different topics in Political Economy and is taught by leading experts in the field. The courses cover theoretical and empirical aspects and are designed to provide students and researchers with knowledge of the most recent developments in the field. During the courses, instructors are available to discuss research ideas and projects with the program participants.

Barcelona Political Economy Summer School Website

Culture and Economics

The culture hypothesis in economic development states that values, preferences and beliefs of individuals and societies play a key role in economic performance.  This is the view endorsed by Max Weber (1930) in his explanation on how Protestantism influenced industrialization.  Hayek (1944) stresses the importance of the emergence of a new culture for the creation and sustenance of an open-market economy.  Culture underpins North’s (1991) “rules of the game” of society, which suggests that the channel through which culture affects economic performance is via its influence on institutions. Verifying the culture hypothesis empirically is challenging due to the vagueness of the concept of culture, the issues that this raises in turn for measuring culture in the data, and related difficulties with estimation of the effects of culture.  But more recently researchers have started to undertake new innovative approaches in order to solve these issues and to find persuasive evidence that culture actually matters for economic outcomes.

Akerlof, G. and R. E. Kranton, (2000)  “Economics and identity”. Quarterly Journal of Economics,115: 715–33.

Bisin, A. and T. Verdier (2000) “Beyond the melting pot: cultural transmission, marriage, and the evolution of ethnic and religious traits”. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 115: 955–88.

Bowles, S. (1998) “Endogenous preferences: the cultural consequences of markets and other economic institutions.” Journal of Economic Literature, 36: 75–111

Carroll, C., B. Rhee, and C. Rhee (1994) “Are there cultural effects on saving? Some cross-sectional evidence.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 109: 685–99.

Elster, J. (1989) “Social norms and economic theory.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 3(4): 99–117.

Fernández, R.  (2013) “Cultural Change as Learning: The Evolution of Female Labor Force Participation over a Century.” American Economic Review, 103(1): 472-500. [Working paper verison]

Fernández, R. and A. Fogli (2009) “Culture: an empirical investigation of beliefs, work, and fertility.” American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 1(1): 146-77 [Working paper version]

Greif, A. (1994) “Cultural beliefs and the organization of society: a historical and theoretical reflection on collectivist and individualist societies.” Journal of Political  Economy, 102: 912–50.

Greif, A. (2005)  Institutions: Theory and History. Comparative and Historical Institutional Analysis.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Guiso, L., P. Sapienza, and L. Zingales (2003) “People’s opium? Religion and Economic Attitudes.” Journal of Monetary Economics 50: 225–82. [Working paper version]

Guiso, L., P. Sapienza, and L. Zingales (2004) “The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development.” American Economic Review, 94 (3): 526-56. [Working paper version]

Guiso, L., P. Sapienza, and L. Zingales (2009) “Cultural biases in economic exchange”. Quarterly Journal of Economics 124(3): 1095-1131. [Working paper version]

Guiso, L., P. Sapienza, and L. Zingales (2006) “Does culture affect economic outcomes?Journal of Economic Perspectives 20(2): 23–48. [Working paper version]

Hayek, F. (1944) The Road to Serfdom, George Routledge & Sons, New York

Henrich, J. (2000) “Does Culture Matter in Economic Behavior? Ultimatum Game Bargaining Among the

Machiguenga of the Peruvian Amazon.” American Economic Review, 90 (4): 973–979.

Henrich, J., R. Boyd, S. Bowles, C. Camerer, E. Fehr, H. Gintis, and R. Mcelreath  (2001) “In search of Homo economicus: Behavioral experiments in 15 small-scale societies.” American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 91 (2), 73–78.

Mailath, G. and A. Postlewaite (2003) “The social context of economic decisions.” Journal of the European Economic Association, 1: 354–62. [Working paper version]

Manski, C. (2000) “Economic analysis of social interactions.” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14(3): 115–36.

Nunn, N. (2010) “Religious conversion in colonial Africa.” American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 100(2):147-52.

Nunn, N. and L. Wantchekon (2011) “The slave trade and the origins of mistrust in Africa.” American Economic Review, 101(7): 3221-52. [Working paper version]

Nunn N. (2012) “Culture and the Historical Process”. Economic History of Developing Regions, 27(S1):108-126. [Working paper version]

Putnam, Robert, R. Leonardi, and R. Nanetti (1993) Making democracy work. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Tabellini, G. (2008a) “Culture and institutions: economic development in the regions of Europe.” Journal of the European Economic Association, 8(4): 677-716. [Working paper version]

Tabellini, G. (2008b) “The scope of cooperation: values and incentives.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 123(3): 905-50. [Working paper version]

2014 EIB Prize

2014 EIB Prize: Innovation, Market Structure and Competitiveness

The European investment bank invites nominations for two awards under the EIB prize theme.

The topic for this year is innovation, market structure and competitiveness. Prizes will be awarded for research which assesses the interaction between company size and market structure and the impact of investment decisions on innovation and productivity in different sectors. Special consideration will be given to work comparing the European experience with that of other large advanced or emerging economies.

The young economist award honours scholars under the age of 40 on 31 December in the year of the award.

Nominations are also welcome for the outstanding contribution award, which honours scholars for lifetime scientific contributions of specific relevance to the prize’s topic, including academic excellence and publication record and impact on public policy or society at large.

Nominees may be of any nationality.

Funder’s webpage