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Perspectives on Growth Theory

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  • Robert M. Solow

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert M. Solow, 1994. "Perspectives on Growth Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 45-54, Winter.
  • 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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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.8.1.45
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. 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.
    3. Young, Alwyn, 1993. "Invention and Bounded Learning by Doing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 443-472, June.
    4. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    5. Nicholas Kaldor & James A. Mirrlees, 1962. "A New Model of Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 174-192.
    6. Nancy L. Stokey, 1991. "Human Capital, Product Quality, and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 587-616.
    7. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    8. Karl Shell, 2010. "A Model of Inventive Activity and Capital Accumulation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1409, David K. Levine.
    9. Robert Summers & Alan Heston, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950–1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-368.
    10. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-963, September.
    11. Karl Shell, 2010. "Inventive Activity, Industrial Organization and Economic Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1408, David K. Levine.
    12. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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