Ahmed Rahman

Department of Economics
College of Business and Economics
Lehigh University
Rauch Busniess Center
621 Taylor Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015
United States

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Lehigh University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2019Trade, Technology, and the Great Divergence
with Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke, Alan M. Taylor: w25741
Why did per capita income divergence occur so dramatically during the 19th century, rather than at the outset of the Industrial Revolution? How were some countries able to reverse this trend during the globalization of the late 20th century? To answer these questions, this paper develops a trade-and-growth model that captures the key features of the Industrial Revolution and Great Divergence between a core industrializing region and a peripheral and potentially lagging region. The model includes both endogenous biased technological change and intercontinental trade. An Industrial Revolution begins as a sequence of more unskilled-labor-intensive innovations in both regions. We show that the subsequent co-evolution of trade and directed technologies can create a delayed but inevitable diverg...
October 2017Computerization and Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the United States
with Gaetano Basso, Giovanni Peri: w23935
Recent technological changes have been characterized as “routine-substituting,” reducing demand for routine tasks but increasing it for analytical and service tasks. Little is known about how these changes have impacted immigration, or task specialization between immigrants and natives. In this paper we show that such technological progress has been an important determinant of immigration, attracting immigrants who increasingly specialize in manual-service occupations. We also suggest that open- ness to immigration attenuated job and wage polarization for natives resulting from technological changes. We explain these facts with a model of technological progress and endogenous immigration. Simulations show that unskilled immigration attenuates the drop in routine employment proceeding from ...
November 2008Luddites and the Demographic Transition
with Kevin H. O'Rourke, Alan M. Taylor: w14484
Technological change was unskilled-labor-biased during the early Industrial Revolution, but is skill-biased today. This is not embedded in extant unified growth models. We develop a model which can endogenously account for these facts, where factor bias reflects profit-maximizing decisions by innovators. Endowments dictate that the early Industrial Revolution be unskilled-labor-biased. Increasing basic knowledge causes a growth takeoff, an income-led demand for fewer educated children, and the transition to skill-biased technological change. The simulated model tracks British industrialization in the 18th and 19th centuries and generates a demographic transition without relying on either rising skill premia or exogenous educational supply shocks.

Published: Journal of Economic Growth December 2013, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 373-409 Luddites, the industrial revolution, and the demographic transition Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke, Ahmed S. Rahman, Alan M. Taylor

April 2007Trade, Knowledge, and the Industrial Revolution
with Kevin H. O'Rourke, Alan M. Taylor: w13057
Technological change was unskilled-labor-biased during the early Industrial Revolution of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, but is skill-biased today. This fact is not embedded in extant unified growth models. We develop a model of the transition to sustained economic growth which can endogenously account for both these facts, by allowing the factor bias of technological innovations to reflect the profit-maximising decisions of innovators. Endowments dictated that the initial stages of the Industrial Revolution be unskilled-labor biased. The transition to skill-biased technological change was due to a growth in "Baconian knowledge" and international trade. Simulations show that the model does a good job of tracking reality, at least until the mass education reforms of the...

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