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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. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. " Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-50, July.
  2. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, 1990. "Equipment Investment and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3515, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  4. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  6. T. W. Swan, 1956. "ECONOMIC GROWTH and CAPITAL ACCUMULATION," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(2), pages 334-361, November.
  7. Abigail Barr, 1995. "The missing factor: entrepreneurial networks, enterprises and economic growth in Ghana," CSAE Working Paper Series 1995-11, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  8. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1963. "On the Concept of Optimal Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 163, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Robert J. Barro, 2012. "Inflation and Economic Growth," CEMA Working Papers 568, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  11. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance, entrepreneurship and growth: Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 513-542, December.
  12. Paul Romer, 1991. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1996. "Transfers, Social Safety Nets, and Economic Growth," IMF Working Papers 96/40, International Monetary Fund.
  14. William Easterly & Sergio Rebelo, 1994. "Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 4499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
  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, vol. 106(2), pages 327-68, May.
  17. Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1997. "Stabilization Policy, Learning-by-Doing, and Economic Growth," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 152-66, April.
  18. Swan, Trevor W, 2002. "Economic Growth," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 78(243), pages 375-80, December.
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