SIA professor presents at conference of leading economists in Germany

SIA professor Johannes Fedderke
SIA professor Johannes Fedderke

In August, Professor and global economy expert Johannes W. Fedderke presented at the 30th Annual Congress of the European Economic Association Mannheim regarding his research titled “Diagnosing Deep Roots of Development: Genetic, Disease, and Environmental Factors.”

The world’s leading economists gathered at the University of Mannheim for the annual conference this past August. In his presentation, Fedderke examined the association between indicators of real GDP per capita and the ACP1 genetic adaptation to disease and ultraviolet radiation environment. His research found a strong impact that varies across the A, B, and C alleles. The result is robust to controlling for reversal of fortunes, migration, and potential endogeneity of the genetic adaptation. It is also robust to controlling for other potential deep roots of development, geography, early adoption of technology, the population proportion that is European, and genetic diversity, as well as a range of factors held to be relevant by the economic growth literature. Policy prescriptions point to the importance of protection against ultraviolet radiation, control of tropical diseases, and the possible use of folic acid therapy and nutrient supplements in clearly identifiable geographic areas.

The conference included sessions on a diverse range of issues, including public policies and child development, the political economy of development, innovation and economic history, international trade policy, economic geography, behavioral industrial organization, industry dynamics, macroeconomics with imperfect common knowledge, communication in games, asset pricing, social insurance programs and the labor market. Many other economic issues were discussed during the contributed sessions, with presentations by over 1,000 economists from around the world. Many of these sessions shed new light on important applied problems such as monetary policy, financial regulation, fiscal policy, healthcare, family policy, education, unemployment policy, productivity, trade policy, climate change, migration policy, minimum wages, poverty, inequality, growth and development. Other sessions focused on recent advances in economic theory, econometrics, experimental economics and economic history that will facilitate future progress in applied economics and policy analysis.

Fedderke is a leading South African economist and a World Bank consultant whose research interests focus on technology and innovation, macroeconomics, economic development, political economy, institutions, and trade. His most recent works study the institutional determinants of economic growth, unbalanced growth paths, and deep roots of economic development.

Fedderke has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed articles and was managing editor of the South African Journal of Economics. In 2006, he was elected to the Academy of Science of South Africa. He has been the director of Econometric Research Southern Africa since 1999, and is an honorary research fellow of the Helen Suzman Foundation.