Mark Gradstein

Mark Gradstein is Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at Ben Gurion University in Israel.

  • Institutions and Norms in Economic Development

    Institutions and Norms in Economic Development

    Mark Gradstein and Kai A. Konrad

    Experts address “the development puzzle”—unprecedented growth coupled with unequal distribution of that growth across different countries—and focus on the importance of institutional arrangements and norms and culture.

    Recent decades have seen almost unprecedented economic growth in income per capita around the world. Yet this extraordinary overall performance masks a wide variation in growth rates across different countries, with persistent underdevelopment in some parts of the world. This disparity constitutes “the development puzzle,” and it is exemplified by growth spurts in China and India that contrast markedly with disturbingly low growth rates in sub-Saharan Africa. In this volume, economists address issues of inequality and growth, going beyond narrowly defined “economic” factors to consider the effect on growth of the structure of governance, the quality of a country's governing bodies, and the social norms that govern collective decision-making. The contributors use both formal modeling and empirical analyses to examine how the “soft factors” of institutions and norms interact with growth performance, natural resource endowments, and economic performance. They consider such topics as the effects of decentralization in Africa, fiscal discipline in Indian states, natural resource wealth as a cause of corruption, social violence during the Indonesian financial crisis of 1997 and 1998, and the effect of strong national identity on redistributive politics. Some of their findings suggest that not only do institutions and norms affect economic performance, economic performance itself is a key factor in explaining such governance failures as corruption and the frequency and intensity of economic conflict.

    • Hardcover $32.00
    • Paperback $20.00
  • The Political Economy of Education

    The Political Economy of Education

    Implications for Growth and Inequality

    Mark Gradstein, Moshe Justman, and Volker Meier

    A theoretical framework for analyzing the complex relationship of education, growth, and income distribution.

    The dominant role played by the state in the financing, regulation, and provision of primary and secondary education reflects the widely-held belief that education is necessary for personal and societal well-being. The economic organization of education depends on political as well as market mechanisms to resolve issues that arise because of contrasting views on such matters as income inequality, social mobility, and diversity. This book provides the theoretical framework necessary for understanding the political economy of education—the complex relationship of education, economic growth, and income distribution—and for formulating effective policies to improve the financing and provision of education. The relatively simple models developed illustrate the use of analytical tools for understanding central policy issues. After offering a historical overview of the development of public education and a review of current econometric evidence on education, growth, and income distribution, the authors lay the theoretical groundwork for the main body of analysis. First they develop a basic static model of how political decisions determine education spending; then they extend this model dynamically. Applying this framework to a comparison of education financing under different regimes, the authors explore fiscal decentralization; individual choice between public and private schooling, including the use of education vouchers to combine public financing of education with private provision; and the social dimension of education—its role in state-building, the traditional "melting pot" that promotes cohesion in a culturally diverse society.

    • Hardcover $7.75