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Solow vs. Solow: Notes on Identification and Interpretation in the Empirics of Growth and Development

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  • Erich Gundlach

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Abstract

Most empirical studies of long run growth refer to one of the two seminal contributions by Robert Solow (1956, 1957). His work shows that in order to estimate the relative roles of factor accumulation and technology in development, an a priori identification assumption is needed about the nature of technical change. This specific assumption differs across the two Solow papers. I show that starting with the identification assumption made in Solow (1956), one should expect to find that differences in technology rather than differences in factor accumulation explain most if not all of the observed long-run differences in output per worker. The opposite interpretation appears to prevail in parts of the recent literature on the empirics of growth. --

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of World Economics.

Volume (Year): 141 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 541-556

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Handle: RePEc:spr:weltar:v:141:y:2005:i:3:p:541-556

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Related research

Keywords: Solow model; growth accounting; identification;

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References

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  1. Diamond, Peter & McFadden, Daniel & Rodriguez, Miguel, 1978. "Measurement of the Elasticity of Factor Substitution and Bias of Technical Change," Histoy of Economic Thought Chapters, in: Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel (ed.), Production Economics: A Dual Approach to Theory and Applications, volume 2, chapter 5 McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought.
  2. Robert J. Barro & N. Gregory Mankiw & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1994. "Capital mobility in Neoclassical models of growth," Economics Working Papers 82, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  4. Prescott, Edward C, 1998. "Needed: A Theory of Total Factor Productivity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 525-51, August.
  5. William A. Masters & Margaret S. McMillan, 2000. "Climate and Scale In Economic Growth," CID Working Papers 48, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  6. Barro, Robert J, 1999. " Notes on Growth Accounting," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 119-37, June.
  7. Charles R. Hulten, 2000. "Total Factor Productivity: A Short Biography," NBER Working Papers 7471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  9. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2003. "Institutions Don't Rule: Direct Effects of Geography on Per Capita Income," NBER Working Papers 9490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Maddison, Angus, 1987. "Growth and Slowdown in Advanced Capitalist Economies: Techniques of Quantitative Assessment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 649-98, June.
  12. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Erich Gundlach, 2006. "The Solow Model in the Empirics of Growth and Trade," Kiel Working Papers 1294, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. Busse, Matthias & Königer, Jens, 2012. "Trade and economic growth: A re-examination of the empirical evidence," HWWI Research Papers 123, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  3. Erich Gundlach, 2006. "The Solow Model in the Empirics of Cross-Country Growth," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_015, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.

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