Research Digests

The following documents, which I call research digests, condense an important economic paper into a 2,000-5,000 word summary. These are intended to be simultaneously rigorous and accessible to a curious person with limited or no background in the subject. Following the template for short research papers in science, I start with the main findings and then provide some discussion. The description of data and methodology are typically a bit more complex than the findings and discussions, but hopefully provide enough information for a curious and motivated reader to understand at a meaningful level how the results were found.

These were originally written for my undergraduate economics of innovation course.

“Age and Great Invention” (2010) by Benjamin Jones

“The Burden of Knowledge and the ‘Death of the Renaissance Man’: Is Innovation Getting Harder?” (2009) by Benjamin Jones

“Identifying Technology Spillovers and Product Market Rivalry” (2013) by Nicholas Bloom, Mark Schankerman, and John Van Reenen.

“Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990” (1998) by Michael Kremer

“Recombinant Growth” (1998) by Martin Weitzman