Robert J. Barro

Robert J. Barro is Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics at Harvard University and a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

  • Economic Growth, Second Edition

    Economic Growth, Second Edition

    Robert J. Barro and Xavier I. Sala-i-Martin

    The long-awaited second edition of an important textbook on economic growth—a major revision incorporating the most recent work on the subject.

    This graduate level text on economic growth surveys neoclassical and more recent growth theories, stressing their empirical implications and the relation of theory to data and evidence. The authors have undertaken a major revision for the long-awaited second edition of this widely used text, the first modern textbook devoted to growth theory. The book has been expanded in many areas and incorporates the latest research. After an introductory discussion of economic growth, the book examines neoclassical growth theories, from Solow-Swan in the 1950s and Cass-Koopmans in the 1960s to more recent refinements; this is followed by a discussion of extensions to the model, with expanded treatment in this edition of heterogenity of households. The book then turns to endogenous growth theory, discussing, among other topics, models of endogenous technological progress (with an expanded discussion in this edition of the role of outside competition in the growth process), technological diffusion, and an endogenous determination of labor supply and population. The authors then explain the essentials of growth accounting and apply this framework to endogenous growth models. The final chapters cover empirical analysis of regions and empirical evidence on economic growth for a broad panel of countries from 1960 to 2000. The updated treatment of cross-country growth regressions for this edition uses the new Summers-Heston data set on world income distribution compiled through 2000.

    • Hardcover $110.00
  • Nothing is Sacred

    Nothing is Sacred

    Economic Ideas for the New Millennium

    Robert J. Barro

    Essays by the influential—and controversial— macroeconomist Robert J. Barro.

    Since the 1970s, Robert Barro's academic research has significantly influenced macroeconomic theory. For more than a decade, his writing has also enlivened the pages of publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Business Week. In Nothing Is Sacred, Barro applies his well-honed free market arguments to a remarkably diverse range of issues. These include global problems such as growth and debt, as well as social issues such as the predictive value of SAT scores, drug legalization, the economics of beauty, and the relationship between abortion rights and crime reduction.The book opens with a series of essays on famous economists, past and present, and other prominent figures whose work has economic implications, including Joe DiMaggio and Bono. In the book's second part, Barro discusses the economics of social issues. In the third part, he considers democracy, growth, and international policy, and in the final part he examines fiscal policy, monetary policy, and the macroeconomy. Throughout, he shows that even the most widely held beliefs are not sacred truths but are open to analysis.

    • Hardcover $30.00
    • Paperback $20.00
  • Economic Growth

    Economic Growth

    Robert J. Barro and Xavier I. Sala-i-Martin

    Why do economies grow? What fixes the long-run rate of growth? These are some of the simplest, but also hardest, questions in economics. Growth of lack of it has huge consequences for a country's citizens. But for various reasons, growth theory has had long fallow patches. Happily, this is changing.

    In 1956 Robert Solow developed what became the standard neo-classical model of economic growth. Counties grow, on this theory, by accumulating labour and capital. Adding either obeys diminishing returns: the more labour or capital you already have, the more you need for a further given jump in output. One consequence is that an economy with less capital ought to outgrow one with more. Generally, they do. Another is that growth should eventually drop to zero. Awkwardly, it stays positive. To save the theory, long-run growth was explained by an outside factor, technical innovation, which is not in the growth function itself—hence the label "exogenous" for the Solow family of models. Partial as it was, the Solow model won wide acceptance and growth theory slumbered for three decades. Then came two changes. One was an attempt to add technical change and other factors to labour and capital within the growth function so that the model might predict long-run growth without leaning on outside "residuals"—the so-called "endogenous" approach. The other was a huge number of factual studies.

    Barro and Sala-i-Martin explain all this and more with admirable clarity (and much demanding maths) in the first modern textbook devoted to growth theory. The main theories are examined. The stress throughout is on linking theory to fact. One of three chapters on empirical work suggests how much each of several possible factors would be needed to explain differing international growth rate—not an explanation itself, but an indispensable set of empirical benchmarks. From The Economist, 17 February 1996

    • Hardcover $75.00
  • Macroeconomics, Fifth Edition

    Macroeconomics, Fifth Edition

    Robert J. Barro

    Robert Barro's Macroeconomics has become the classic textbook presentation of the equilibrium approach to macroeconomics. In its first four editions, this book has shown undergraduates how market-clearing models with strong microeconomic foundations can be used to understand real-world phenomena and to evaluate alternative macroeconomic policies. Moreover, a single, unified framework works as well for short-term business fluctuation as for long-term economic growth. This latest edition includes the most recent theoretical and empirical developments in economic growth, recent evidence on the macroeconomics of labor markets and public finance, and up-to-date results on the interplay between nominal and real variables.

    • Hardcover $110.00
  • Determinants of Economic Growth

    Determinants of Economic Growth

    A Cross-Country Empirical Study

    Robert J. Barro

    Research on economic growth has exploded in the past decade. Hundreds of empirical studies on economic growth across countries have highlighted the correlation between growth and a variety of variables. Determinants of Economic Growth, based on Robert Barro's Lionel Robbins Memorial Lectures, delivered at the London School of Economics in February 1996, summarizes this important literature.

    The book contains three essays. The first is a survey of the research on the determinants of long-run growth through the estimation of panels of cross-country data. The second essay details the interplay between growth and political freedom or democracy and finds some evidence of a nonlinear relationship. At low levels of political rights, an expansion of rights stimulates growth; however, once a moderate level of democracy has been obtained, a further expansion of rights reduces growth. The final essay looks at the connection between inflation and economic growth. Its basic finding is that higher inflation goes along with a lower rate of economic growth.

    • Hardcover $45.00
    • Paperback $30.00
  • Getting It Right

    Getting It Right

    Markets and Choices in a Free Society

    Robert J. Barro

    Since 1991, Robert Barro has been a lively contributor to the Wall Street Journal and other popular financial media. Getting It Right brings together, updates, and expands upon these writings that showcase Barro's agility in applying economic understanding to a wide array of social issues. Barro, a "conservative who takes no prisoners," and a self-described libertarian, believes that most governments have gone much too far in their spending, taxation, and regulation. The dominant theme in these wide-ranging essays is the importance of institutions that ensure property rights and free markets. The discussion deals especially with the appropriate range of government: which areas represent useful public policy and which are unnecessary interference. The first section of the book considers these questions in the context of the determinants of long-run economic growth. In addition to basic economics, Barro assesses related political topics, such as the role of public institutions, the optimal size of countries, and the consequences of default on foreign debt. The second section deals with the proper role and form of monetary policy. Barro argues that government should provide markets with a stable nominal framework and then stay out of the way to best allow for price stability. Writings in the third section cover fiscal and other macroeconomic policies. Topics include the distorting influences of taxation, especially taxes on capital income; infrastructure investment and other government spending; and the consequences of public debt and budget deficits. In a final section, Barro looks at more micro issues such as cartels, tax amnesties, school choice, privatization, cigarette-smoking regulation, endangered species regulation, the market for baseball players, and term limits for politicians.

    • Hardcover $37.00
    • Paperback $20.00

Contributor

  • Critical Theory and Interaction Design

    Critical Theory and Interaction Design

    Jeffrey Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell, and Mark Blythe

    Classic texts by thinkers from Althusser to Žižek alongside essays by leaders in interaction design and HCI show the relevance of critical theory to interaction design.

    Why should interaction designers read critical theory? Critical theory is proving unexpectedly relevant to media and technology studies. The editors of this volume argue that reading critical theory—understood in the broadest sense, including but not limited to the Frankfurt School—can help designers do what they want to do; can teach wisdom itself; can provoke; and can introduce new ways of seeing. They illustrate their argument by presenting classic texts by thinkers in critical theory from Althusser to Žižek alongside essays in which leaders in interaction design and HCI describe the influence of the text on their work. For example, one contributor considers the relevance Umberto Eco's “Openness, Information, Communication” to digital content; another reads Walter Benjamin's “The Author as Producer” in terms of interface designers; and another reflects on the implications of Judith Butler's Gender Trouble for interaction design. The editors offer a substantive introduction that traces the various strands of critical theory.

    Taken together, the essays show how critical theory and interaction design can inform each other, and how interaction design, drawing on critical theory, might contribute to our deepest needs for connection, competency, self-esteem, and wellbeing.

    Contributors Jeffrey Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell, Olav W. Bertelsen, Alan F. Blackwell, Mark Blythe, Kirsten Boehner, John Bowers, Gilbert Cockton, Carl DiSalvo, Paul Dourish, Melanie Feinberg, Beki Grinter, Hrönn Brynjarsdóttir Holmer, Jofish Kaye, Ann Light, John McCarthy, Søren Bro Pold, Phoebe Sengers, Erik Stolterman, Kaiton Williams., Peter Wright

    Classic texts Louis Althusser, Aristotle, Roland Barthes, Seyla Benhabib, Walter Benjamin, Judith Butler, Arthur Danto, Terry Eagleton, Umberto Eco, Michel Foucault, Wolfgang Iser, Alan Kaprow, Søren Kierkegaard, Bruno Latour, Herbert Marcuse, Edward Said, James C. Scott, Slavoj Žižek

    • Hardcover $90.00
  • Taking [A]part

    Taking [A]part

    The Politics and Aesthetics of Participation in Experience-Centered Design

    John McCarthy and Peter Wright

    A critical inquiry into the value and experience of participation in design research.

    In Taking [A]part, John McCarthy and Peter Wright consider a series of boundary-pushing research projects in human-computer interaction (HCI) in which the design of digital technology is used to inquire into participative experience. McCarthy and Wright view all of these projects—which range from the public and performative to the private and interpersonal—through the critical lens of participation. Taking participation, in all its variety, as the generative and critical concept allows them to examine the projects as a part of a coherent, responsive movement, allied with other emerging movements in DIY culture and participatory art. Their investigation leads them to rethink such traditional HCI categories as designer and user, maker and developer, researcher and participant, characterizing these relationships instead as mutually responsive and dialogical.

    McCarthy and Wright explore four genres of participation—understanding the other, building relationships, belonging in community, and participating in publics—and they examine participatory projects that exemplify each genre. These include the Humanaquarium, a participatory musical performance; the Personhood project, in which a researcher and a couple explored the experience of living with dementia; the Prayer Companion project, which developed a technology to inform the prayer life of cloistered nuns; and the development of social media to support participatory publics in settings that range from reality game show fans to on-line deliberative democracies.

    • Hardcover $40.00
  • Evolution of Communicative Flexibility

    Evolution of Communicative Flexibility

    Complexity, Creativity, and Adaptability in Human and Animal Communication

    D. Kimbrough Oller and Ulrike Griebel

    Experts investigate communicative flexibility (in both form and usage of signals) as the foundation of the evolution of complex communication systems, including human language.

    The evolutionary roots of human communication are difficult to trace, but recent comparative research suggests that the first key step in that evolutionary history may have been the establishment of basic communicative flexibility—the ability to vocalize freely combined with the capability to coordinate vocalization with communicative intent. The contributors to this volume investigate how some species (particularly ancient hominids) broke free of the constraints of “fixed signals,” actions that were evolved to communicate but lack the flexibility of language—a newborn infant's cry, for example, always signals distress and has a stereotypical form not modifiable by the crying baby. Fundamentally, the contributors ask what communicative flexibility is and what evolutionary conditions can produce it. The accounts offered in these chapters are notable for taking the question of language origins farther back in evolutionary time than in much previous work. Many contributors address the very earliest communicative break of the hominid line from the primate background; others examine the evolutionary origins of flexibility in, for example, birds and marine mammals. The volume's interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives illuminate issues that are on the cutting edge of recent research on this topic.

    Contributors Stéphanie Barbu, Curt Burgess, Josep Call, Laurance Doyle, Julia Fischer, Michael Goldstein, Ulrike Griebel, Kurt Hammerschmidt, Sean Hanser, Martine Hausberger, Laurence Henry, Allison Kaufman, Stan Kuczaj, Robert F. Lachlan, Brian MacWhinney, Radhika Makecha, Brenda McCowan, D. Kimbrough Oller, Michael Owren, Ron Schusterman, Charles T. Snowdon, Kim Sterelny, Benoît Testé, Gert Westermann

    • Hardcover $11.75
    • Paperback $40.00
  • Technology as Experience

    Technology as Experience

    John McCarthy and Peter Wright

    In Technology as Experience, John McCarthy and Peter Wright argue that any account of what is often called the user experience must take into consideration the emotional, intellectual, and sensual aspects of our interactions with technology. We don't just use technology, they point out; we live with it. They offer a new approach to understanding human-computer interaction through examining the felt experience of technology. Drawing on the pragmatism of such philosophers as John Dewey and Mikhail Bakhtin, they provide a framework for a clearer analysis of technology as experience.

    Just as Dewey, in Art as Experience, argued that art is part of everyday lived experience and not isolated in a museum, McCarthy and Wright show how technology is deeply embedded in everyday life. The "zestful integration" or transcendent nature of the aesthetic experience, they say, is a model of what human experience with technology might become.

    McCarthy and Wright illustrate their theoretical framework with real-world examples that range from online shopping to ambulance dispatch. Their approach to understanding human computer interaction—seeing it as creative, open, and relational, part of felt experience—is a measure of the fullness of technology's potential to be more than merely functional.

    • Hardcover $35.00
    • Paperback $25.00
  • Evolution of Communication Systems

    Evolution of Communication Systems

    A Comparative Approach

    D. Kimbrough Oller and Ulrike Griebel

    Laying foundations for an interdisciplinary approach to the study of evolution in communication systems with tools from evolutionary biology, linguistics, animal behavior, developmental psychology, philosophy, cognitive sciences, robotics, and neural network modeling.

    The search for origins of communication in a wide variety of species including humans is rapidly becoming a thoroughly interdisciplinary enterprise. In this volume, scientists engaged in the fields of evolutionary biology, linguistics, animal behavior, developmental psychology, philosophy, the cognitive sciences, robotics, and neural network modeling come together to explore a comparative approach to the evolution of communication systems. The comparisons range from parrot talk to squid skin displays, from human language to Aibo the robot dog's language learning, and from monkey babbling to the newborn human infant cry. The authors explore the mysterious circumstances surrounding the emergence of human language, which they propose to be intricately connected with drastic changes in human lifestyle. While it is not yet clear what the physical environmental circumstances were that fostered social changes in the hominid line, the volume offers converging evidence and theory from several lines of research suggesting that language depended upon the restructuring of ancient human social groups. The volume also offers new theoretical treatments of both primitive communication systems and human language, providing new perspectives on how to recognize both their similarities and their differences. Explorations of new technologies in robotics, neural network modeling and pattern recognition offer many opportunities to simulate and evaluate theoretical proposals. The North American and European scientists who have contributed to this volume represent a vanguard of thinking about how humanity came to have the capacity for language and how nonhumans provide a background of remarkable capabilities that help clarify the foundations of speech.

    • Hardcover $45.00