SPEAKER: William F. Maloney (World Bank, Chief Economist, Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions)
TITLE: “Engineering Growth: Innovative Capacity and Development in the Americas" (paper joint with Felipe Valencia Caicedo)
This paper offers the first systematic historical evidence on the role of a central actor in modern growth theory - the engineer. We collect cross-country and state level data on the population share of engineers for the Americas, and county level data on engineering and patenting for the US during the Second Industrial Revolution. These are robustly correlated with income today after controlling for literacy, other types of higher order human capital (e.g. lawyers, physicians), demand side factors, and instrumenting engineering using the Land Grant Colleges program. We support these results with historical case studies from the US and Latin America.