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Perspectives on Growth Theory

  • Robert M. Solow

This essay relates recent developments in growth theory to problems and ideas that first engaged R. F. Harrod, E. Domar, and their neoclassical successors. The body of 'new growth theory' began by finding special ways to assume that there are constant returns to capital. It is shown that this is a very nonrobust assumption, thus not a good basis for growth theory. More promising is the attempt to create a genuinely endogenous theory of the process of innovation. This notion has always been present in the literature or just beneath the surface. Current ideas, for all their ingenuity, may be too mechanical.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.8.1.45
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 8 (1994)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
Pages: 45-54

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:8:y:1994:i:1:p:45-54
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.8.1.45
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  1. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  2. Nancy L. Stokey, 1990. "Human Capital, Product Quality, And Growth," NBER Working Papers 3413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991. "A sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 609, The World Bank.
  5. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  6. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Young, Alwyn, 1993. "Invention and Bounded Learning by Doing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 443-72, June.
  8. Ricardo J. Caballero & Adam B. Jaffe, 1993. "How High are the Giants' Shoulders: An Empirical Assessment of Knowledge Spillovers and Creative Destruction in a Model of Economic Growth," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1993, Volume 8, pages 15-86 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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