### 经济代写|宏观经济学代写Macroeconomics代考|ECOS3007

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• Statistical Inference 统计推断
• Statistical Computing 统计计算
• Advanced Probability Theory 高等概率论
• Advanced Mathematical Statistics 高等数理统计学
• (Generalized) Linear Models 广义线性模型
• Statistical Machine Learning 统计机器学习
• Longitudinal Data Analysis 纵向数据分析
• Foundations of Data Science 数据科学基础

## 经济代写|宏观经济学代写Macroeconomics代考|Geography

This is somewhat related to the luck hypothesis, but certainly distinctive: perhaps the deepest source of heterogeneity between countries is the natural environment they happened to be endowed with. From a very big picture perspective, geographical happenstance of this sort is a very plausible candidate for a determinant of broad development paths, as argued for instance by Jarred Diamond in his 1999 Pulitzer-Prize-winning book Guns, Germs and Steel ${ }^8$. As an example, Diamond suggests that one key reason Europe conquered America, and not the other way around, was that Europe had an endowment of big animal species that were relatively easy to domesticate, which in turn led to improved immunisation by humans exposed to animal-borne diseases, and more technological advances. But can geography also explain differences in economic performance at the scale on which we usually think about them, say between different countries over decades or even a couple of centuries?

On some level, it is hard to think that the natural environment would not affect economic performance, on any time frame. Whether a country is in the middle of the Sahara desert, the Amazon rain forest, or some temperate climate zone must make some difference for the set of economic opportunities that it faces. This idea becomes more compelling when we look at the correlation between certain geographical variables and economic performance, as illustrated by the Figure (7.2), again taken from Acemoglu (2009). It is clear from that picture that countries that are closer to the equator are poorer on average. At the very least, any explanation for economic performance would have to be consistent with this stylised fact. The question, once again, is to assess to what extent these geographical differences underlie the ultimate performance, and this is not an easy empirical question.

Let us start by considering the possible conceptual arguments. The earliest version of the geography hypothesis has to do with the effect of the climate on the effort – the old idea that hot climates are not conducive to hard work. While this seems very naive (and not too politically correct) to our 21 st century ears, the idea that climate (and geography more broadly) affects technological productivity, especially in agriculture, still sounds very plausible. If these initial differences in turn condition subsequent technological progress (as argued by Jared Diamond, as we have seen, and as we will see, in different forms, by Jeffrey Sachs), it just might be that geography is the ultimate determinant of the divergence between societies over the very long run.

A big issue with this modern version of the geography hypothesis is that it is much more appealing to think of geography affecting agricultural productivity, but modern growth seems to have a lot more to do with industrialisation. While productivity in agriculture might have conditioned the development of industry to begin with, once industrial technologies are developed we would have to explain why they are not adopted by some countries. Geography is probably not enough to account for that, at least in this version of the story.

## 经济代写|宏观经济学代写Macroeconomics代考|Culture

What do we mean by culture? The standard definition used by economists, as spelled out by Guiso et al. (2006), refers to “those customary beliefs and values that ethnic, religious, and social groups transmit fairly unchanged from generation to generation” (p. 23). In other words, culture is something that lives inside people’s heads – as opposed to being external to them – but it is not something idiosyncratic to individuals; it is built and, importantly, transmitted at the level of groups.

It is hard to argue against the assertion that people’s beliefs, values, and attitudes affect their economic decisions. It is just as clear that those beliefs, values and attitudes vary across countries (and over time). From this it is easy to conclude that culture matters for economic performance, an argument that goes back at least to Max Weber’s thesis that Protestant beliefs and values, emphasising hard work and thrift, and with a positive view of wealth accumulation as a signal of God’s grace, were an important factor behind the development of capitalism and the modern industrial development. In his words, the “Protestant ethic” lies behind the “spirit of capitalism”.

Other arguments in the same vein have suggested that certain cultural traits are more conducive to economic growth than others (David Landes is a particularly prominent proponent of this view, as in Landes (1998)), and the distribution of those traits across countries is the key variable to ultimately understand growth. “Anglo-Saxon” values are growth-promoting, compared to “Latin” or “Asian” values, and so on. More recently, Joel Mokyr (2018) has argued that Enlightenment culture was the key driving force behind the emergence of the Industrial Revolution in Europe, and hence of the so-called “Great Divergence” between that continent and the rest of the world.

A number of issues arise with such explanations. First, culture is hard to measure, and as such may lead us into the realm of tautology. A country is rich because of its favourable culture, and a favourable culture is defined as that which is held by rich countries. This doesn’t get us very far in understanding the causes of good economic performance. This circularity is particularly disturbing when the same set of values (say, Confucianism) is considered inimical to growth when Asian countries perform poorly, and suddenly becomes growth-enhancing when the same countries perform well. Second, even if culture is indeed an important causal determinant of growth, we still need to figure out where it comes from if we are to consider implications for policy and predictions for future outcomes.

These empirical and conceptual challenges have now been addressed more systematically, as better data on cultural attitudes have emerged. With such data, a vibrant literature has emerged, with economists developing theories and testing their predictions on the role that specific types of values (as opposed to a generic “culture” umbrella) play in determining economic performance. Many different types of cultural attitudes have been investigated: trust, collectivism, gender roles, beliefs about fairness, etc. This literature has often exploited historical episodes – the slave trade, the formation of medieval self-governing cities, colonisation, immigration, recessions – and specific cultural practices – religious rites, civic festivities, family arrangements – to shed light on the evolution of cultural attitudes and their impact on economic outcomes. Our assessment is that this avenue of research has already borne a lot of fruit, and remains very promising for the future. (For an overview of this literature, see the surveys by Guiso et al. (2006), Alesina and Giuliano (2015), and Nunn (2020).

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