Publications

2007
On the Welfare Costs of Consumption Uncertainty. 2007. consumption_risk_paper_010707.pdf
Barro RJ. Bill Gates's Charitable Vistas. Wall Street Journal. 2007 :A17. PDF
Barro R. On the Welfare Costs of Consumption Uncertainty. 2007.Abstract

Satisfactory calculations of the welfare cost of aggregate consumption uncertainty require a framework that replicates major features of asset prices and returns, such as the high equity premium and low risk-free rate. A Lucas-tree model with rare but large disasters is such a framework. In the baseline simulation, the welfare cost of disaster risk is large—society would be willing to lower real GDP by about 20% each year to eliminate all disaster risk. In contrast, the welfare cost from usual economic fluctuations is much smaller, though still important—corresponding to lowering GDP by around 1.5% each year.

consumption_risk_paper_010707.pdf
Barro R, Hwang JJ, McCleary RM. Religious Conversion in 40 Countries. 2007.Abstract

Questions about current and prior religious adherence from the International Social Survey Program and the World Values Survey allow us to calculate country-level religious-conversion rates for 40 countries. These conversion rates apply to religious adherence classified into eight major types. In a theoretical model based on rational individual choice, the frequency of religious conversion depends on factors that influence the cost of switching and the cost of having the “wrong” religion. Empirical findings for a panel of countries accord with several hypotheses: religious-conversion rates are positively related to religious pluralism, gauged by adherence shares; negatively related to government restrictions on religious conversion; positively related to levels of education; and negatively related to a history of Communism. Conversion rates are not much related to per capita GDP, the presence of state religion, and the extent of religiosity. Effects from the type of religious adherence are minor, except for a negative effect from Muslim adherence.

conversionpaper072209_2_-1.pdf
Barro R. Bill Gates’s Charitable Vistas. The Wall Street Journal. 2007. gates_column_wsj.pdf
Barro R, McCleary RM. Political Economy and Religion in the Spirit of Max Weber. In: Nee V, Swedberg R On Capitalism. ; 2007. pp. Stanford University Press.
Barro R. Milton Friedman: General Perspectives and Personal Reminiscences. In: Champions of Freedom Series. ; 2007. pp. Hillsdale College.
Barro R. How the Fed Works Today. In: The Role of Markets and Governments in Pursuing the Common Good. ; 2007. pp. Hillsdale College.
Barro R, Tenreyro S. Economic Effects of Currency Unions. Economic Inquiry. 2007;January.
Barro R. Milton Friedman: Perspectives, Particularly on Monetary Policy. CATO Journal. 2007.
2006
Barro RJ. Liberal Policies for Economic Growth. Les Echos. 2006. PDF
Barro RJ. The Greenspan Story: Goodbye, Mr. Big Chips. Wall Street Journal. 2006 :A18. PDF
Barro R. The Greenspan Story: Goodbye, Mr. Big Chips. The Wall Street Journal. 2006. wsj_greenspanstorymrbigchips_06_0130.pdf
Barro R. Goodbye, Mr. Big Chips. The Wall Street Journal. 2006.
Barro R. Liberal Policies for Economic Growth. Les Echos, Paris. 2006. lesechos_06_0512_liberal.pdf
Barro R. Protectionism and the China Problem. 21st Century Business Herald, Beijing. 2006.
Barro R, Tenreyro S. Closed and Open Economy Models of Business Cycles with Marked Up and Sticky Prices. Economic Journal. 2006;April.
Barro R, McCleary RM. Religion and Economy. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 2006;Spring.
Barro R, McCleary RM. Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 2006;June.Abstract

Economic and political developments affect religiosity, and the extent of religious participation and beliefs influence economic performance and political institutions. We study these two directions of causation in a broad cross-country panel that includes survey information over the last 20 years on church attendance and an array of religious beliefs. Although religiosity declines overall with economic development, the nature of the response varies with the dimension of development. Church attendance and religious beliefs are positively related to education (thereby conflicting with theories in which religion reflects non-scientific thinking) and negatively related to urbanization. Attendance also declines with higher life expectancy and lower fertility. We investigate the effects of official state religions, government regulation of the religion market, Communism, religious pluralism, and the denominational composition of religious adherence. On the other side, we find that economic growth responds positively to the extent of some religious beliefs but negatively to church attendance. That is, growth depends on the extent of believing relative to belonging. These results hold up when we use as instrumental variables the measures of official state religion, government regulation, and religious pluralism.

p_religion.pdf
Barro R. Rare Disasters and Asset Markets in the Twentieth Century. Quarterly Journal of Economics. 2006;August.

Pages