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Review of Easterly's The Elusive Quest for Growth


  • Romain Wacziarg


William Easterly's superb book draws on what we have learned from almost two decades of cross-country growth comparisons, providing a critical synthesis of the current state of empirical knowledge on growth. The author emphasizes policy and institution-driven incentives for growth, and also critically surveys evidence for more traditional sources of growth such as factor accumulation. Another contribution of the book is an accessible and detailed description of the vicious cycle of adjustment loans directed by the World Bank and IMF at countries that squander these resources in current consumption rather than investment, leading to stagnant growth, debt crises, debt relief and further adjustment loans.

Suggested Citation

  • Romain Wacziarg, 2002. "Review of Easterly's The Elusive Quest for Growth," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 907-918, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:40:y:2002:i:3:p:907-918 Note: DOI: 10.1257/002205102760273823

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    3. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
    4. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    5. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
    6. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
    7. Nazrul Islam, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-1170.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cohen, Joseph N, 2010. "Neoliberalism’s relationship with economic growth in the developing world: Was it the power of the market or the resolution of financial crisis?," MPRA Paper 24399, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. GianCarlo Moschini, 2003. "Intellectual Property Rights and the World Trade Organization: Retrospect and Prospects," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 03-wp334, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    3. Lee, Angela Y. & Aaker, Jennifer L., 2006. "A Monte Carlo Study of Growth Regressions," Research Papers 1836r1, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    4. Prüfer, P. & Tondl, G., 2008. "The FDI-Growth Nexus in Latin America : The Role of Source Countries and Local Conditions," Discussion Paper 2008-61, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. Wick, A.K., 2008. "Conflicts, development and natural resources : An applied game theoretic approach," Other publications TiSEM 9dfd8863-301e-477b-9999-5, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Karsten Staehr, 2005. "Reforms and Economic Growth in Transition Economies: Complementarity, Sequencing and Speed," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 2(2), pages 177-202, December.
    7. Graziella Bertocchi, 2011. "Growth, Colonization, and Institutional Development. In and Out of Africa," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 064, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    8. Matthew McCartney, 2011. "Pakistan, Growth, Dependency, and Crisis," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 16(Special E), pages 71-94, September.
    9. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2012-66 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Diego Bastourre & Luis Casanova & Alejo Espora, 2011. "Tipo de Cambio Real y Crecimiento: Síntesis de la Evidencia y Agenda de Investigación," Department of Economics, Working Papers 082, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    11. Anna Lo Prete, 2013. "Inequality and the finance you know: does economic literacy matter?," CeRP Working Papers 136, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
    12. Angresano, James, 2004. "European Union integration lessons for ASEAN + 3: the importance of contextual specificity," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 909-926, January.
    13. Sonia Bhalotra & Marcela Umaña-Aponte, 2010. "The Dynamics of Women’s Labour Supply in Developing Countries," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 10/235, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    14. William Hauk & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "A Monte Carlo study of growth regressions," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 103-147, June.
    15. Slavov, Slavi T., 2009. "Do common currencies facilitate the net flow of capital among countries?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 124-144, August.
    16. Godunova, M., 2010. "Influence of import tariffs, accumulation of FER and external debt on economic growth depending on stages of economic development," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 5, pages 28-45.
    17. Robert P. Inman, 2008. "Federalism's Values and the Value of Federalism," NBER Working Papers 13735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Umaña-Aponte, Marcela & Bhalotra, Sonia R., 2012. "Women's Labour Supply and Household Insurance in Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 066, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    19. Jean Cartier-Bresson, 2011. "L'agenda de la gouvernance," Working Papers hal-00845170, HAL.
    20. Youwen Zhang, 2011. "From Policy-driven Opening to Institutional Opening – A Discussion on Policy-imposed Distortion in China’s Economic Development," Chapters,in: China’s Economy in the Post-WTO Environment, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    21. Bordo, Michael D. & Rousseau, Peter L., 2012. "Historical evidence on the finance-trade-growth nexus," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 1236-1243.
    22. Lewis L. Smith, 2007. "Complexity meets development - a felicitous encounter on the road of life," Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems - scientific journal, Croatian Interdisciplinary Society Provider Homepage:, vol. 5(2), pages 151-160.
    23. Hauk, William R., 2017. "Endogeneity bias and growth regressions," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 143-161.
    24. Prüfer, P., 2008. "Model uncertainty in growth empirics," Other publications TiSEM 3845a6a0-4364-4f2c-9f3a-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

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