The topic of growth rate differentials between countries has been a main theme in my work from the very beginning. It was the main topic of my PhD thesis of 1992. Chapter 6 of that thesis contains my model of catching up and falling behind (see picture below), which was also published in 1991 in the Elsevier Journal Structural Change and Economic Dynamics. if you do not have access to that journal, you can download the paper here.
Those of you following the literature on the economic effects of R&D may have seen a paper by Van Elk et al. on the economic effects of investment in public R&D. Those who really follow that literature well may have seen both the working paper version, and the officially published one, and have noticed a slight change in authorship between those two versions. More specifically, I was an author (named Al) in the working paper version, but in the journal version, I was just a line in a footnote. Let me explain here how that came about.
The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate just published our evaluation report on the R&D tax credit policy WBSO, for the period 2011-2017. The evaluation was done in a collaboration between Dialogic, APE and UNU-MERIT.
Gambardella, A., Harhoff, D. & B. Verspagen, 2017, The economic value of patent portfolios, Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, vol. 26, pp. 735-756, link at publisher
Bodas Freitas, I.M. & B. Verspagen, 2017, The motivations, institutions and organization of university-industry collaborations in the Netherlands, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, vol. 27, pp. 379-412, link at publisher
We Came As Strangers is an indie-band including guitarist Justin Sandercoe. They organized two remix competitions, offering others the opportunity to use the raw stems of their music to produce an own perspective on their songs. I took the challenge and put together a remix of Adrenaline. I kept vocals and piano, and did a new bass-track, drums, and two guitar tracks (one of them slide). I benefited greatly from advise by Önder Nomaler, although he should not be blamed for the crudeness of the result.
Here is the re-mixed track on Youtube:
All my life I have been living close to the (Belgian) border. When I was a kid, there was still (occasional) border control, and I was told stories of old times when smugglers were active, or when - during WWI - the Germans put an electric fence on the border. With increasing European integration all this disappeared, and now one often has to pay close attention to even know that a border has been crossed. Building style, slight differences in the appearance of traffic signs, and the quality of the road are subtle hints for which side of the border one is at.
This is a very convenient situation, reflecting true integration of economic transactions and other activities. It also reflects the absence of nationalism. The local culture, including that of the other side of the border, is so much more dominant here than what is being imposed from far-away parts in the Netherlands or Belgium.
Unfortunately, some voices are calling for the re-instatement of borders, even within the EU. Intelligent cameras appear on the Belgian side of border sites on major roads. And culture is once again defined by many people in terms of nations, rather than localities.
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