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Quantity and Quality of Economic Growth

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  • Robert J. Barro

Abstract

Most cross-country studies of economic performance have focused on narrow economic variables. The present study emphasizes instead some quality dimensions of economic development, including health, fertility, income distribution, political institutions, crime, and religion. The data reveal a regular pattern in which economic development goes along with higher life expectancy and reduced fertility. Improvements in the standard of living are also associated with expansions of democracy, increased maintenance of the rule of law, and reductions in official corruption. Despite the presence of a Kuznets curve, little of the variations in income inequality are explained by the overall level of economic development. Crime rates, proxied by murder rates, also bear little relation with the level of development but are more closely associated with income inequality. Finally, there is some support for the secularization hypothesis, in that economic development is typically accompanied by lower levels of church attendance and religious beliefs. However, religiosity is positively related to education, holding fixed other indicators of economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Barro, 2002. "Quantity and Quality of Economic Growth," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 5(2), pages 17-36, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchec:v:5:y:2002:i:2:p:17-36
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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:53:y:1959:i:01:p:69-105_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    3. Gene M. Grossman & Alan B. Krueger, 1995. "Economic Growth and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 353-377.
    4. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "What causes violent crime?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1323-1357, July.
    5. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    6. Barro, Robert J, 2000. "Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
    7. Easterly, William, 1999. "Life during Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 239-276, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bogojević, A. & Balaž, A. & Karapandža, R., 2008. "Consequences of increased longevity for wealth, fertility, and population growth," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 387(2), pages 543-550.
    2. repec:eee:touman:v:42:y:2014:i:c:p:207-212 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Vishal Jaunky, 2013. "Democracy and economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: a panel data approach," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 987-1008, October.

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