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Determinants of Economic Growth in a Panel of Countries

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  • Robert J. Barro

Abstract

Growth rates vary enormously across countries over long periods of time. The reason for these variations is a central issue for economic policy, and crosscountry empirical work on this topic has been popular since the early 1990s. The findings from cross-country panel regressions show that the differences in per capita growth rates relate systematically to a set of quantifiable explanatory variables. One effect is a conditional convergence term-the growth rate rises when the initial level of real per capita GDP is low relative to the starting amount of human capital in the forms of educational attainment and health and for given values of other variables that reflect policies, institutions, and national characteristics. For given per capita GDP and human capital, growth depends positively on the rule of law and the investment ratio and negatively on the fertility rate, the ratio of government consumption to GDP, and the inflation rate. Growth increases with favorable movements in the terms of trade and with increased international openness, but the latter effect is surprisingly weak.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Society for AEF in its journal Annals of Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 4 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
Pages: 231-274

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Handle: RePEc:cuf:journl:y:2003:v:4:i:2:p:231-274

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Keywords: Economic growth; Cross-country; Panel;

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  1. Swan, Trevor W, 2002. "Economic Growth," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 78(243), pages 375-80, December.
  2. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance, entrepreneurship and growth: Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 513-542, December.
  3. Robert J. Barro, 2012. "Inflation and Economic Growth," CEMA Working Papers, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics 568, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  4. T. W. Swan, 1956. "ECONOMIC GROWTH and CAPITAL ACCUMULATION," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(2), pages 334-361, November.
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  8. Xavier Sala-I-Martin, 1997. "Transfers, Social Safety Nets, and Economic Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 81-102, March.
  9. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. " Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-50, July.
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  14. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-63, July.
  16. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950-1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-68, May.
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