Could the massive wartime debt accumulated by Britain’s government in the 18th and 19th centuries have helped the country industrialize first and become the world’s leading economy? Given the customary association of debt with dissipation and ruin, this may come across as an unlikely proposition, yet this is exactly the story that Jaume Ventura and Hans-Joachim Voth have found in the historical evidence.
Barcelona GSE research on VoxEU.org by Kerem Cosar, Nezih Guner, and James R. Tybout
Trade liberalisations are often accompanied by labour market reforms, making it difficult to isolate their effects. This column discusses the effects of trade liberalisation, globalisation, and labour-market reforms on the Colombian labour market. Reduced trade frictions increased cross-firm wage inequality and shifted the firm-size distribution rightward, with offsetting effects on overall wage inequality. Average income increased, but the gains were concentrated among employees of large, productive firms with access to export markets. Greater trade openness also increased job turnover.