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Do Knowledge Externalities lead to growth in Economic Complexity? Empirical evidence from ColombiaDOWNLOAD PDF

ABSTRACT: We live in a Complex Economic system where externalities play a key role in fostering growth in complexity through increasing interdependence of interacting agents. The study tests this hypothesis for the case of Colombia. We ask whether knowledge externalities lead to growth in economic complexity. If yes, which variety of knowledge externalities – MAR, Porter or Jacobs? Results from our empirical investigation uphold the MAR theories of externalities or intraindustrial externalities which are maximized with high local specialization and local monopoly. A pattern of convergence in economic complexity of Colombian municipalities emerges from our results, supporting Schumpeterian growth theories, which advocate that knowledge externalities drive convergence. This is in line with the recent macroeconomic trends of the Colombian economy which is suffering from “Dutch Disease” leading to a contraction in its domestic economy. We show that knowledge externalities are a mechanism through which convergence dynamics are brought about and fostered in the domestic economy. 

Check out the Colombian Atlas of Economic Complexity here.

Explaining ‘learning’ in MOOCs: A regression analysis of the empirical data from the first edX courses.  DOWNLOAD PDF

ABSTRACT: The current research explores factors that explain learning outcomes in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) by using regression analysis where ‘certification’ and ‘grade’ are recognized as the key learning indicators. Given the diversity of registrants that engage in MOOCs with an equally diverse set of motivations, a single indicator can be counterproductive in understanding learning outcomes of MOOCs. The study henceforth, analyzes two set of models – each regressed on an individual registrant’s highest level of educational attainment and engagement in the course. The theoretical explanation rests on the notion of ‘absorptive capacity’ that plays a key role in imparting learning. At the same time, the study discovers a clear positive impact of active engagement in the course in the learning outcomes. The data used is from edX, on its first 17 courses.


How MOOCs as ‘niche products’ are making a difference: Analyzing ‘Superstar’ and ‘Long Tail’ phenomena in the Higher Education market. Download PDF

ABSTRACT: The paper starts with establishing MOOCs as ‘niche products’ in the course content market – as one of the components of the higher education bundle. It then presents theoretical arguments to establish the coexistence of the ‘superstar effect’ and’ the ‘long tail effect’ in the course content market (which is largely where MOOCs are operational) in the coming years. Demand side and supply side variables are presented to justify the envisioned emergence of the long tail in the market. This means less concentrated education market in the next few years with the exception of some superstar universities, which will continue to play a dominant role in the market.

Interested in MOOCs? This blog covers news and latest trends on MOOCs.

What Drives Innovation? : Integrating Schumpeterian legacy and tools of Complexity Economics. Download PDF

ABSTRACT: The current paper proposes a framework for analyzing the factors which lead to “innovation” in the economy (system). In other words, it attempts to answer the crucial question: Why Innovation takes place? Over six decades of economic literature has struggled to provide a sophisticated explanation for technological change in the economy. The answer is, of course, of rudimentary importance to academicians and policy makers alike; for that can equip stakeholders with tools with which innovation can be induced in the system, for example – by ensuring the system can sustain conditions which are fundamental for innovative activity by firms. This paper integrates the understanding of technological change as it evolved; subsequently presenting Schumpeter’s 1947 paper “The Creative Change in Economic History” as the basis of a proposed framework using the tools of Complexity Economics.

Intellectual Property Rights in the IT sector of India: An insight into the debate. Download PDF 

INTRODUCTION: The present paper seeks to understand the working of the IPR system in India, amidst the current global debate regarding the usefulness of licensing to boost innovation, particularly in Information Technology. The opinions of experts are divided over an array of options – from supporting further strengthening of the IPR regime to completely abolishing it.

Through literature reviews and the case study of India, the paper traces the trajectory of the IT sector of India, the IPR regime and analyzes the need for IPRs in IT and its role in IT-sector growth through a critical eye. The government policy with respect to the Intellectual Property Rights is studied in detail and alternative policy options have been explored which can ensure a still more pragmatic approach towards licensing and innovative activity in the country, particularly in the long term.

The paper underlines how a strict IPR regime can in fact, be detrimental in dissemination of knowledge in the economy. Given the stylized fact (based on the experience of U.S.) that IPR regimes only grow more and more restrictive over time, the relative benefits of licensing might dwarf in light of the costs involved, eventually. In particular, private benefits might exceed social costs significantly.

Honour Killings in North India: An enquiry into the causes of the social menace. Download PDF

ABSTRACT: The recent upsurge in the number of honour killings, around the world is a cause of grave concern for all nations alike. However, careful study reveals certain factors playing a greater role in the perpetuation of this crime, and underscores the importance of initiatives by the State and the civil society to control this menace. The aim of this paper was to identify those factors with the help of case studies across five different North Indian states (Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Utter Pradesh and Rajasthan) where cases of honour killing have been reported recently. The factors studied include ‘caste and cultural rigidities’, ‘partisanship’ and ‘power, patriarchy and property’.The study made use of Secondary data available with national organizations collecting data on murders which constitute “honour killing”. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected for a total of 34 cases from all states and the relative significance of different factors was analyzed. Inter-caste marriages were found to be the biggest motivation behind honor killings.The role of “Khap Panchayats” (caste-based local self governing bodies) has been unearthed throughout the study. The study exposed the institutional limitations of the national legal system. The final segment of the study makes various recommendations which can effectively help tackle the menace.