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The Empirical Economic Growth Literature


Author Info

  • Raymond J.G.M. Florax

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Henri L.F. de Groot

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Reinout Heijungs

    (Leiden University)


The empirical economic growth literature is criticized for its lack ofrobustness. For different definitions of robustness, conclusions vary from 'almost everycorrelation is fragile' to 'a substantial number of explanatory variables are robust.' Were-analyze the empirical results of the economic growth literature for various alternativedefinitions of robustness using quasi-experiments. The analysis pertains to sign, size andsignificance of the effects, and we relax the quasi-experimental procedure by no longerapplying a set of 'fixed' variables. Response surface analyses of the quasi-experimentsreveal that the number of robust variables is limited, the effects crucially depend on thespecification of conditioning variables, and the default specification based on theconvergence/catch-up model is associated with estimated effects of conditioning variablesthat constitute outliers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 02-040/3.

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Date of creation: 22 Apr 2002
Date of revision: 31 Oct 2003
Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20020040

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Keywords: economic growth; sensitivity analysis; robustness; response surface.;

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Cited by:
  1. Niclas Berggren & Mikael Elinder & Henrik Jordahl, 2008. "Trust and growth: a shaky relationship," Empirical Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 251-274, September.
  2. Roberto León-González & Daniel Montolio, . "Growth, Convergence And Public Investment. A Bayesian Model Averaging Approach," Working Papers, Instituto de Estudios Fiscales 13-03 Classification-JEL , Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
  3. Bengtsson, Mikael & Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik, 2005. "Trust and Growth in the 1990s: A Robustness Analysis," Ratio Working Papers, The Ratio Institute 60, The Ratio Institute.
  4. Östbye, Stein & Westerlund, Olle, 2004. "Productivity convergence across industries and regions in Norway and Sweden," UmeÃ¥ Economic Studies, UmeÃ¥ University, Department of Economics 632, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  5. Baliamoune, Mina N., 2002. "Assessing the Impact of One Aspect of Globalization on Economic Growth in Africa," Working Paper Series, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  6. Sergio J. Rey & Boris Dev, 2004. "Sigma-convergence in the presence of spatial effects," Urban/Regional, EconWPA 0404008, EconWPA, revised 22 Apr 2004.
  7. Sjoerd Beugelsdijk & Henri L.F. de Groot & Anton B.T.M. van Schaik, 2002. "Trust and Economic Growth," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers, Tinbergen Institute 02-049/3, Tinbergen Institute.


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