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Sources of U.S. Economic Growth in a World of Ideas

  • Charles I. Jones

Rising educational attainment and research intensity in recent decades suggest that the U.S. economy is far from its steady state. This paper develops a model reconciling these facts with the stability of U.S. growth rates. In the model, long-run growth arises from the worldwide discovery of ideas, which depends on population growth. Nevertheless, constant growth can temporarily proceed at a faster rate, provided research intensity and educational attainment rise steadily over time. Growth accounting reveals that these factors explain 80 percent of recent U.S. growth, with less than 20 percent coming from world population growth. (JEL O40, E10)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/000282802760015685
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 92 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 220-239

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:92:y:2002:i:1:p:220-239
Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282802760015685
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  1. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  2. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1997. "The poverty of nations: a quantitative exploration," Staff Report 204, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. David, Paul A., 1977. "Invention and accumulation in america's economic growth: A nineteenth-century parable," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 179-228, January.
  4. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 1999. "International Technology Diffusion: Theory and Measurement," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 537-70, August.
  5. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1990. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," DELTA Working Papers 90-12, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  6. Danny Quah, 1996. "The invisible hand and the weightless economy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2271, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Ellen R. McGrattan & James A. Schmitz, Jr., 1998. "Explaining cross-country income differences," Staff Report 250, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Danny Quah, 1996. "The Invisible Hand and the Weightless Economy," CEP Occasional Papers 12, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. 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.
  10. Griliches, Zvi, 1988. "Productivity Puzzles and R&D: Another Nonexplanation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 9-21, Fall.
  11. West, Kenneth D, 1988. "Asymptotic Normality, When Regressors Have a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1397-1417, November.
  12. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Claudia Goldin, 1999. "A Brief History of Education in the United States," NBER Historical Working Papers 0119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Ben-David, Dan & Papell, David H., 1995. "The great wars, the great crash, and steady state growth: Some new evidence about an old stylized fact," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 453-475, December.
  15. Nordhaus, William D, 1969. "An Economic Theory of Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 18-28, May.
  16. Edmond S. Phelps, 1964. "Models of Technical Progress and the Golden Rule of Research," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 176, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  17. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
  18. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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