Research Projects

Are Tariff Rates Good for Development? (2012)

This investigation empirically examines the effects of tariff rates on indicators of long run development by analysing the effects of tariff contingency on fertility, life expectancy, infant mortality and education. The analysis confirms previous findings of a differential effect of tariffs on economic growth, suggesting a detrimental impact of trade limitations for high income level countries, but not for low income level economies. In addition, the investigation contributes to the literature showing that for high income economies, tariffs are harmful not only for economic growth, but also for long run development. However, these effects are less clear for lower income economies. In particular, for developing countries there is a paucity of evidence for the effects of tariffs on indicators of long-run development. The paper also attempts to identify the channels through which tariffs might affect the economic growth for lower income economies, the results suggesting infrastructure as a potential driver.

Military Spending and Growth: An Empirical Exploration of Contingent Relationships (2013)

This analysis clarifies the ambiguous results from military spending and economic growth literature where the impact of military expenditure is frequently found to be non-significant or negative. Investigation re-examines effects of military spending on growth by analysing this relationship contingent on initial income per capita using recent advances in panel estimation methods and unique dataset on military expenditure. The findings reveal that while growth falls with higher levels of military spending, the marginal impact of military spending is increasing in initial income levels. In contrast to previous findings from the literature, this increase is consistent across different income groups and type of economies, and monotonic in direction going towards zero for sufficiently higher income level countries.

Externalities in Military Spending and Growth: Natural Resources as a Channel through Conflict (2013)

This analysis re-examines the relationship between military spending and economic growth using recent advances in panel estimation methods and a large panel dataset. The investigation is able to reproduce many of results of the existing literature and to provide a new analysis on the relationship between conflict, corruption, natural resources and military expenditure and their direct and indirect effects on economic growth. The analysis finds that the impact of military expenditure on growth is generally negative as in the literature, but that it is not significantly detrimental for countries facing either higher internal or external threats and for countries with large natural resource wealth once corruption levels are accounted for. (Published in the Journal of Defence and Peace Economics, 2015)

Commodity Price Shocks, Conflict, and Growth: The Role of Institutional Quality and Political Violence (2014)

This analysis empirically investigates the relationships between resource windfalls, political regimes, conflict and economic growth using recent advances in panel estimation methods and a distinctive commodity price shock measurement. The paper clarifies many of the ambiguous outcomes of the existing literature, particularly showing that resource windfalls have significant impact on conflict only in politically unstable autocracies, which itself is heterogeneous in the response conditional on a country’s initial political violence level. The findings also demonstrate that resource shocks are positively associated with economic performance in democracies and in politically stable autocracies, while significantly deteriorating growth for politically unstable autocracies.