Patterns of economic growth : hills, plateaus, mountains, and plains
AbstractExcept during the Great Depression, the historical path for per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the United Stateshas been reasonably stable exponential trend growth, with modest cyclical deviation. Graphically, growth in the United States displays as a modestly sloping, only slightly bumpy, hill. But almost nothing that is true about per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the United States (or for other member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)) is true for developing countries. First, per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in most developing countries does not follow a single time trend: For a given country, there is great instability in growth rates over time, relative to both average level of growth and to cross-sectional variance. These shifts in growth rates lead to distinct patterns. Some countries have had steady growth (hills and steep hills); others have had rapid growth followed by stagnation (plateaus); others have had rapid growth followed by declines (mountains) or even catastrophic declines (cliffs): still others have experienced continuous stagnation (plains) or even steady decline (valleys). Second, volatility--however measures--is much greater in developing than in industrial countries. These stylized observations about growth rates, the author concludes, suggest that it may be useless to use"panel data"to investigate long-term growth rates in developing countries. Perhaps more can be learned about developing countries by investigating what initiates (or halts) episodes of growth. There is something of a professional split in"growth"literature, the author observes. Macroeconomists studying industrial countries discuss steady-state growth and ponder whether all countries in the convergence club will reach the same happy level in the end. Development economists, on the other hand, are the pathologists of economics, having discovered that developing countries are most emphatically not all alike. Developing countries have found ways to be ecstatic but they have also discovered many different ways to be unhappy.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1947.
Date of creation: 31 Jul 1998
Date of revision:
Public Health Promotion; Economic Conditions and Volatility; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Economic Theory&Research; Statistical&Mathematical Sciences; Economic Growth; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Achieving Shared Growth; Governance Indicators; Economic Conditions and Volatility;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Xavier X. Sala-i-Martin, 1997.
"I Just Ran Four Million Regressions,"
NBER Working Papers
6252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Where has all the education gone?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1581, The World Bank.
- Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1993.
"Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment,"
NBER Working Papers
4486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Income distribution, political instability, and investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1203-1228, June.
- Kamin, S.B., 1988. "Devaluation, External Balance, And Macroeconomic Performance: A Look At The Numbers," Princeton Studies in International Economics 62, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
- Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
- Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995.
"Economic Convergence and Economic Policies,"
NBER Working Papers
5039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Economic Convergence and Economic Policies," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1715, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Economic Convergence and Economic Policies," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0035, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
- Quah, Danny, 1996.
"Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1355, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Quah, Danny T, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 1045-55, July.
- Bruno, Michael & Easterly, William, 1998.
"Inflation crises and long-run growth,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 3-26, February.
- Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996.
"A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality,"
World Bank Economic Review,
World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-91, September.
- Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999. "A Data Set on Income Distribution," CEMA Working Papers 575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- Andrews, Donald W K, 1989.
"Power in Econometric Applications,"
Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 1059-90, September.
- Dan Ben-David & David H. Papell, 1997.
"Slowdowns and Meltdowns: Postwar Growth Evidence from 74 Countries,"
NBER Working Papers
6266, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dan Ben-David & David H. Papell, 1998. "Slowdowns And Meltdowns: Postwar Growth Evidence From 74 Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 561-571, November.
- Ben-David, D. & Papell, D.H., 1996. "Slowdowns and Meltdowns: Post-War Growth Evidence from 74 Countries," Papers 9-96, Tel Aviv.
- Ben-David, Dan & Papell, David, 1995. "Slowdowns and Meltdowns: Post-war Growth Evidence from 74 Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Mind your P's and Q's : the cost of public investment is not the value of public capital," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1660, The World Bank.
- Atish R. Ghosh & Holger Wolf, 1998. "Thresholds and Context Dependence in Growth," NBER Working Papers 6480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Danny Quah, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0280, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Ross Levine, 1997.
"Financial Development and Economic Growth: Views and Agenda,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 688-726, June.
- Levine, Ross, 1996. "Financial development and economic growth : views and agenda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1678, The World Bank.
- Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994.
"Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
- Kristin J. Forbes, 2000. "A Reassessment of the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 869-887, September.
- David Stasavage, 2000. "Private Investment and Political Uncertainty," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 25, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Francisco Rodriguez, 2007.
"Have Collapses in Infrastructure Spending led to Cross-Country Divergence in Per Capita GDP?,"
52, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
- Francisco Rodríguez, 2006. "Have Collapses in Infrastructure Spending Led to Cross-Country Divergence in per Capita GDP?," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2006-013, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
- Diego Bastourre & Jorge Carrera, 2004.
"Could The Exchange Rate Regime Reduce Macroeconomic Volatility?,"
Anais do XXXII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 32th Brazilian Economics Meeting]
067, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
- Jorge Carrera & Diego Bastourre, 2004. "Could the Exchange Rate Regime Reduce Macroeconomic Volatility?," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 309, Econometric Society.
- Benjamin R. Bridgman & Igor D. Livshits & James C. MacGee, 2004. "For Sale: Barriers to Riches," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20043, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
- Benno J. Ndulu & Stephen A. O'Connell, 1999. "Governance and Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 41-66, Summer.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.