Philippe Aghion

Philippe Aghion is a Professor at the College de France and at the London School of Economics. Aghion is coauthor (with Peter Howitt) of Endogenous Growth Theory (MIT Press).

  • The Economics of Growth

    The Economics of Growth

    Philippe Aghion and Peter W. Howitt

    A comprehensive, rigorous, and up-to-date introduction to growth economics that presents all the major growth paradigms and shows how they can be used to analyze the growth process and growth policy design.

    This comprehensive introduction to economic growth presents the main facts and puzzles about growth, proposes simple methods and models needed to explain these facts, acquaints the reader with the most recent theoretical and empirical developments, and provides tools with which to analyze policy design. The treatment of growth theory is fully accessible to students with a background no more advanced than elementary calculus and probability theory; the reader need not master all the subtleties of dynamic programming and stochastic processes to learn what is essential about such issues as cross-country convergence, the effects of financial development on growth, and the consequences of globalization. The book, which grew out of courses taught by the authors at Harvard and Brown universities, can be used both by advanced undergraduate and graduate students, and as a reference for professional economists in government or international financial organizations.

    The Economics of Growth first presents the main growth paradigms: the neoclassical model, the AK model, Romer's product variety model, and the Schumpeterian model. The text then builds on the main paradigms to shed light on the dynamic process of growth and development, discussing such topics as club convergence, directed technical change, the transition from Malthusian stagnation to sustained growth, general purpose technologies, and the recent debate over institutions versus human capital as the primary factor in cross-country income differences. Finally, the book focuses on growth policies—analyzing the effects of liberalizing market competition and entry, education policy, trade liberalization, environmental and resource constraints, and stabilization policy—and the methodology of growth policy design. All chapters include literature reviews and problem sets. An appendix covers basic concepts of econometrics.

    • Hardcover $90.00
  • Competition and Growth

    Competition and Growth

    Reconciling Theory and Evidence

    Philippe Aghion and Rachel Griffith

    Though competition occupies a prominent place in the history of economic thought, among economists today there is still a limited, and sometimes contradictory, understanding of its impact. In Competition and Growth, Philippe Aghion and Rachel Griffith offer the first serious attempt to provide a unified and coherent account of the effect competition policy and deregulated entry has on economic growth.

    The book takes the form of a dialogue between an applied theorist calling on "Schumpeterian growth" models and a microeconometrician employing new techniques to gauge competition and entry. In each chapter, theoretical models are systematically confronted with empirical data, which either invalidates the models or suggests changes in the modeling strategy. Aghion and Griffith note a fundamental divorce between theorists and empiricists who previously worked on these questions. On one hand, existing models in industrial organization or new growth economics all predict a negative effect of competition on innovation and growth: namely, that competition is bad for growth because it reduces the monopoly rents that reward successful innovators. On the other hand, common wisdom and recent empirical studies point to a positive effect of competition on productivity growth. To reconcile theory and evidence, the authors distinguish between pre- and post-innovation rents, and propose that innovation may be a way to escape competition, an idea that they confront with microeconomic data. The book's detailed analysis should aid scholars and policy makers in understanding how the benefits of tougher competition can be achieved while at the same time mitigating the negative effects competition and imitation may have on some sectors or industries.

    • Hardcover $30.00
    • Paperback $25.00
  • Endogenous Growth Theory

    Endogenous Growth Theory

    Philippe Aghion and Peter W. Howitt

    Whereas other books on endogenous growth stress a particular aspect, such as trade or convergence, this book provides a comprehensive survey of the theoretical and empirical debates raised by modern growth theory.

    Advanced economies have experienced a tremendous increase in material well- being since the industrial revolution. Modern innovations such as personal computers, laser surgery, jet airplanes, and satellite communication have made us rich and transformed the way we live and work. But technological change has also brought with it a variety of social problems. It has been blamed at various times for increasing wage and income inequality, unemployment, obsolescence of physical and human capital, environmental deterioration, and prolonged recessions.

    To understand the contradictory effects of technological change on the economy, one must delve into structural details of the innovation process to analyze how laws, institutions, customs, and regulations affect peoples' incentive and ability to create new knowledge and profit from it. To show how this can be done, Philippe Aghion and Peter Howitt make use of Schumpeter's concept of creative destruction, the competitive process whereby entrepreneurs constantly seek new ideas that will render their rivals' ideas obsolete.

    Whereas other books on endogenous growth stress a particular aspect, such as trade or convergence, this book provides a comprehensive survey of the theoretical and empirical debates raised by modern growth theory. It develops a powerful engine of analysis that sheds light not only on economic growth per se, but on the many other phenomena that interact with growth, such as inequality, unemployment, capital accumulation, education, competition, natural resources, international trade, economic cycles, and public policy.

    • Hardcover $82.00
    • Paperback $85.00


  • The State of Economics, the State of the World

    The State of Economics, the State of the World

    Kaushik Basu, David Rosenblatt, and Claudia Sepúlveda

    Leading economists address the ongoing challenges to economics in theory and practice in a time of political and economic crises.

    More than a decade of financial crises, sovereign debt problems, political conflict, and rising xenophobia and protectionism has left the global economy unsettled and the ability of economics as a discipline to account for episodes of volatility uncertain. In this book, leading economists consider the state of their discipline in a world of ongoing economic and political crises.

    The book begins with three sweeping essays by Nobel laureates Kenneth Arrow (in one of his last published works), Amartya Sen, and Joseph Stiglitz that offer a summary of the theoretical foundations of modern economics—the twin pillars of general equilibrium theory and welfare economics. Contributors then turn to macroeconomic stabilization and growth and, finally, new areas of research that depart from traditional theory, methodology, and concerns: climate change, behavioral economics, and evolutionary game theory. The 2019 Nobel Prize laureates, Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer, contribute a paper on the use of randomized control trials indevelopment economics.

    Contributors Philippe Aghion, Ingela Alger, Kenneth Arrow, Abhijit Banerjee, Kaushik Basu, Lawrence Blume, Guillermo Calvo, Francesco Caselli, Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Shantayanan Devarajan, Esther Duflo, Samuel Fankhauser, James Foster, Varun Gauri, Xavier Gine, Gäel Giraud, Gita Gopinath, Robert Hockett, Karla Hoff, Ravi Kanbur, Aart Kraay, Michael Kremer, David McKenzie, Célestin Monga, Maurice Obstfeld, Hamid Rashid, Martin Ravallion, Amartya Sen, Luis Servén, Hyun Song Shin, Nicholas Stern, Joseph Stiglitz, Cass Sunstein, Michael Toman, Jörgen Weibull

    • Hardcover $40.00
  • The Failure of Judges and the Rise of Regulators

    The Failure of Judges and the Rise of Regulators

    Andrei Shleifer

    A noted economist argues that the ubiquity of regulation can be explained by its greater efficiency when compared to litigation.

    Government regulation is ubiquitous today in rich and middle-income countries—present in areas that range from workplace conditions to food processing to school curricula—although standard economic theories predict that it should be rather uncommon. In this book, Andrei Shleifer argues that the ubiquity of regulation can be explained not so much by the failure of markets as by the failure of courts to solve contract and tort disputes cheaply, predictably, and impartially. When courts are expensive, unpredictable, and biased, the public will seek alternatives to dispute resolution. The form this alternative has taken throughout the world is regulation.

    The Failure of Judges and the Rise of Regulators gathers Shleifer's influential writings on regulation and adds to them a substantial introductory essay in which Shleifer critiques the standard theories of economic regulation and proposes “the Enforcement Theory of Regulation,” which sees regulation as the more efficient strategy for social control of business. Subsequent chapters present the theoretical and empirical case against the efficiency of courts, make the historical and theoretical case for the comparative efficiency of regulation, and offer two empirical studies suggesting circumstances in which regulation might emerge as an efficient solution to social problems. Shleifer does not offer an unconditional endorsement of regulation and its expansion but rather argues that it is better than its alternatives, particularly litigation.

    Contributors Nicola Gennaioli, Anthony Niblett, Richard A. Posner, Simeon Djankov, Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, Edward L. Glaeser, Simon Johnson, Casey B. Mulligan

    • Hardcover $44.00
    • Paperback $30.00
  • Industrial Policy for National Champions

    Industrial Policy for National Champions

    Oliver Falck, Christian Gollier, and Ludger Woessmann

    Prominent economists present the pros and cons of government's subsidizing or protecting firms that are “national champions.”

    Governments around the world are deeply divided about the proper role of industrial policy, with some politicians arguing for hands-off governance and others supporting government intervention to promote “national champions”—firms that receive government support for both political and economic reasons. In this volume, prominent economists present the pros and cons of government support for national champions. The contributors use the rigor of economic models in their studies, offering a quantitative perspective that complements and extends existing qualitative studies, and focus on issues emerging from the European Union's substantial degree of market integration.

    Many arguments in favor of champions-promoting policies are made in a dynamic context, so the book first presents chapters that take a dynamic economy view, then presents chapters that examine the political economy of the decision process, and finally, offers “classical” static equilibrium arguments. The richness of the different models provides a deeper understanding of industrial policy than could any model alone. What becomes clear from these different perspectives nevertheless is that it is difficult to make a general case in favor of policies promoting national champions on purely economic grounds and that these policies are best understood in political terms.

    • Hardcover $37.00
  • Perspectives on the Performance of the Continental Economies

    Perspectives on the Performance of the Continental Economies

    Edmund S. Phelps and Hans-Werner Sinn

    Leading economists consider the apparent underperformance of the European economy, testing various explanations against data.

    Economists disagree on what ails the economies of continental western Europe, which are widely perceived to be underperforming in terms of productivity and other metrics. Is it some deficiency in their economic system—in economic institutions or cultural attitudes? Is it some effect of their welfare systems of social insurance and assistance? Or are these systems healthy enough but weighed down by adverse market conditions?

    In this volume, leading economists test the various explanations for Europe's economic underperformance against real-world data. The chapters, written from widely varying perspectives, demonstrate the shortcomings and strengths of some methods of economics as much as they do the shortcomings and strengths of some economies of western continental Europe. Some contributors address only income per head or per worker; others look at efficiency and distortions of national choices such as that between labor and leisure; still others look at job satisfaction, fulfillment, and rates of indigenous innovation. Many offer policy recommendations, which range from developing institutions that promote entrepreneurship to using early education to increase human capital.

    • Hardcover $40.00
  • The Natural Resources Trap

    The Natural Resources Trap

    Private Investment without Public Commitment

    William Hogan and Federico Sturzenegger

    Experts discuss the contractual instability resulting from commodity price volatility and its effect on private investment and public involvement.

    Volatility in commodity prices has been accompanied by perpetual renegotiation of contracts between private investors in natural resource production and the governments of states with mineral and energy wealth. When prices skyrocket, governments want a larger share of revenues, sometimes to the point of nationalization or expropriation; when prices fall, larger state participation becomes a burden and the private sector is called back in. Recent and newsworthy changes in the price of oil (which fell from an all-time high of $147 in mid-2008 to $40 by year's end) are notable for their speed and the steepness of their rise and fall, but the up-and-down pattern itself is not unusual. If the unpredictability of commodity prices is so predictable, why do contracts not allow for this with mechanisms that would provide a more stable commercial framework?

    In The Natural Resources Trap, top scholars address this question in terms of both theory and practice. Theoretical contributions range across a number of fields, from contract theory to public finance, and treat topics that include taxation, royalties, and expropriation cycles. Case studies examine experiences in the U.K., Bolivia, Argentina, Venezuela, and other parts of the world.

    Contributors Philippe Aghion, George-Marios Angeletos, Fernando Candia Castillo, Rafael di Tella, Juan Dubra, Eduardo Engel, Ramón Espinasa, Ronald Fischer, Jeffrey Frankel, Nicolás Gadano, Dieter Helm, William Hogan, Robert MacCulloch, Osmel Manzano, Francisco Monaldi, Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, Erich Muehlegger, Fernando Navajas, Robert Pindyck, Lucía Quesada, Roberto Rigobon, Eduardo S. Schwartz, Federico Sturzenegger, Lawrence Summers, Laurence Tai, Michael Tomz, Anders B. Trolle, Louis T. Wells, Nils Wernerfelt, Mark L. J. Wright, Richard Zeckhauser, Jeromin Zettelmeyer

    • Hardcover $45.00