Alwyn Young - Research

Working Papers


“Improved, Nearly Exact, Statistical Inference with Robust and Clustered Covariance Matrices using Effective Degrees of Freedom Corrections  November 2015.

I propose bias and effective degrees of freedom corrections, based upon mimicking the first two moment properties of a chi-squared variable, to statistical inference using robust and clustered covariance matrices.  Simulation, using 1378 practical regression examples found in 44 experimental papers, shows that these corrections render the test statistics nearly exact in the face of ideal iid normal errors and provide large improvements in the accuracy of statistical inference in the presence of distinctly non-iid non-normal errors.

“Channelling Fisher:  Randomization Tests and the Statistical Insignificance of Seemingly Significant Experimental Results  October 2015.  Appendix.

I follow R.A. Fisher’s The Design of Experiments, using randomization statistical inference to test the null hypothesis of no treatment effect in a comprehensive sample of 2003 regressions in 53 experimental papers drawn from the journals of the American Economic Association.  Randomization tests reduce the number of regression specifications with statistically significant treatment effects by 30 to 40 percent.  An omnibus randomization test of overall experimental significance that incorporates all of the regressions in each paper finds that only 25 to 50 percent of experimental papers, depending upon the significance level and test, are able to reject the null of no treatment effect whatsoever.  Bootstrap methods support and confirm these results.

Published Papers by Topic

Macroeconomic Implications of Worker Self Selection

"Structural Transformation, the Mismeasurement of Productivity Growth, and the Cost Disease of Services."  American Economic Review 104 (November 2014): 3635-67. 

    Files: Appendix..  US sectoral TFP growth.  Data and programmes.

“Inequality, the Urban-Rural Gap, and Migration Quarterly Journal of Economics 128 (November 2013): 1727-1785.  Appendix.

The Aids Epidemic and African Growth

"The African Growth Miracle." Journal of Political Economy 120 (August 2012): 696-739.  Data and programmes.

"In Sorrow to Bring Forth Children: Fertility amidst the Plague of HIV." Journal of Economic Growth 12 (December 2007): 283-327.

“The Gift of the Dying: The Tragedy of AIDS and the Welfare of Future African GenerationsQuarterly Journal of Economics 120 (May 2005): 423-466.

Growth and Reform in the People's Republic of China

“Gold into Base Metals: Productivity Growth in the People’s Republic of China during the Reform PeriodJournal of Political Economy 111 (December 2003): 1220-1261.

“The Razor’s Edge: Distortions and Incremental Reform in the People’s Republic of ChinaQuarterly Journal of Economics 115 (November 2000): 1091-1135.

East Asian Productivity Growth

“The Tyranny of Numbers: Confronting the Statistical Realities of the East Asian Growth ExperienceQuarterly Journal of Economics 110 (August 1995): 641-680.

“Lessons from the East Asian NICs: A Contrarian ViewEuropean Economic Review 38 (1994): 964-973.

“A Tale of Two Cities: Factor Accumulation and Technical Change in Hong Kong and SingaporeIn NBER, Macroeconomics Annual 1992. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992. 

Models of Endogenous Growth

“Growth without Scale Effects Journal of Political Economy 106 (February 1998): 41-63.

“Substitution and Complementarity in Endogenous Innovation Quarterly Journal of Economics 108 (August 1993): 775-807.

“Invention and Bounded Learning by Doing Journal of Political Economy 101 (June 1993): 443-472.

“Learning by Doing and the Dynamic Effects of International Trade Quarterly Journal of Economics 106 (May 1991): 369-405.

 Ballistic Missile Defense

“Ballistic Missile Defense:  Capabilities and Constraints  The Fletcher Forum 8 (Winter 1984). 

          Reprinted in Department of Defense, Current News, Special Edition, No. 1142, 25 April 1984 and Air War College, Strategic Nuclear Force Posture, Vol. II, Chap. 5, December 1984.


Resting Papers

"The Gini Coefficient for a Mixture of Ln-Normal Populations."  December 2011.  (Data and programmes).

“Demographic Fluctuations, Generational Welfare and Intergenerational Transfers October 2001.

“Transport, Processing and Information: Value Added and the Circuitous Movement of Goods.” May 1999.