IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Comparative Economic Growth: Evidence and Interpretation


  • James A. Brander


This paper reviews the major facts of comparative per capita economic growth over the 1960-88 period, drawing attention to the unprecedented rates of growth achieved by the fastest-growing economies and the consequent unprecedented variation in economic growth across countries. This paper also discusses the major economic explanations for cross-country variations, including traditional capital accumulation, technological "catch-up" and endogenous technological change, demographic change in combination with natural resource depletion, human capital investment, and government policy. All of these factors have explanatory power but much of the variation remains poorly understood.

Suggested Citation

  • James A. Brander, 1992. "Comparative Economic Growth: Evidence and Interpretation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 25(4), pages 792-818, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:25:y:1992:i:4:p:792-818

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: only available to JSTOR subscribers

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James M. Poterba & Julio J. Rotemberg, 1986. "Money in the Utility Function: An Empirical Implementation," Working papers 408, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    2. Mussa, Michael, 1978. "Dynamic Adjustment in the Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 775-791, October.
    3. Duffie, Darrell & Zame, William, 1989. "The Consumption-Based Capital Asset Pricing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1279-1297, November.
    4. Fair, Ray C & Taylor, John B, 1983. "Solution and Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Dynamic Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1169-1185, July.
    5. Eichengreen, Barry J., 1981. "A dynamic model of tariffs, output and employment under flexible exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 341-359, August.
    6. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1989. "Tax policy, asset prices, and growth : A general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 265-296, April.
    7. James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1984. "The Economic Effects of Dividend Taxation," Working papers 343, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    8. Warwick J. McKibbin & Jeffrey Sachs, 1986. "Coordination of Monetary and Fiscal Policies in the OECD," NBER Working Papers 1800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Rachel McCulloch & Maurice R. Greenberg & Lionel H. Olmer, 1988. "International Competition in Services," NBER Chapters,in: The United States in the World Economy, pages 367-422 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Brecher, Richard A. & Diaz Alejandro, Carlos F., 1977. "Tariffs, foreign capital and immiserizing growth," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 317-322, November.
    11. Clinton Shiells & Robert Stern & Alan Deardorff, 1989. "Estimates of the elasticities of substitution between imports and home goods for the United States: Reply," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 125(2), pages 371-374, June.
    12. Robert E. Baldwin & Carl B. Hamilton & Andre Sapir, 1988. "Issues in US-EC Trade Relations," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bald88-1, January.
    13. Lawrence H. Goulder & Barry Eichengreen, 1989. "Savings Promotion, Investment Promotion, and International Competitiveness," NBER Chapters,in: Trade Policies for International Competitiveness, pages 5-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Russell S. Boyer, 1977. "Commercial Policy under Alternative Exchange Rate Regimes," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 10(2), pages 218-232, May.
    15. Feenstra, Robert C., 1985. "Automobile prices and protection: The U.S.-Japan trade restraint," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 49-68.
    16. Robert E. Hall, 1985. "Real Interest and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 1694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1993. "Temporary general equilibrium theory," Handbook of Mathematical Economics,in: K. J. Arrow & M.D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Mathematical Economics, edition 4, volume 2, chapter 19, pages 879-922 Elsevier.
    18. Adler, Michael & Dumas, Bernard, 1983. " International Portfolio Choice and Corporation Finance: A Synthesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(3), pages 925-984, June.
    19. Smith, C. E., 1988. "Output effects of a tariff under flexible exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3-4), pages 359-371, May.
    20. Lawrence H. Summers, 1981. "Taxation and Corporate Investment: A q-Theory Approach," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 67-140.
    21. Ishii, Naoko & McKibbin, Warwick & Sachs, Jeffrey, 1985. "The economic policy mix, policy cooperation, and protectionism: Some aspects of macroeconomic interdependence among the United States, Japan, and other OECD countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 533-572.
    22. Randall Wigle, 1988. "General Equilibrium Evaluation of Canada-U.S. Trade Liberalization in a Global Context," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 21(3), pages 539-564, August.
    23. Smith, M A M, 1977. "Capital Accumulation in the Open Two-Sector Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(346), pages 273-282, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Kanta Marwah & Akbar Tavakoli, 2004. "The Effect of Foreign Capital and Imports on Economic Growth: Further Evidence from Four Asian Countries," Carleton Economic Papers 04-02, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    2. Athanasoulis, Stefano G. & van Wincoop, Eric, 2000. "Growth uncertainty and risksharing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 477-505, June.
    3. Brander, James A & Dowrick, Steve, 1994. "The Role of Fertility and Population in Economic Growth: Empirical Results from Aggregate Cross-National Data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 7(1), pages 1-25.
    4. John F. Helliwell, 1996. "Economic Growth and Social Capital in Asia," NBER Working Papers 5470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bouton, L. & Sumlinski, M.A., 2000. "Trends in Private Investment in Developing Countries. Statistics for 1970-1998," Papers 41, World Bank - International Finance Corporation.
    6. Daniels, Peter L., 1996. "Technology investment and growth in economic welfare," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(7), pages 1243-1266, July.
    7. Marwah, Kanta & Tavakoli, Akbar, 2004. "The effect of foreign capital and imports on economic growth: further evidence from four Asian countries (1970-1998)," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 399-413, April.
    8. Fuess, Scott Jr. & van den Berg, Hendrik, 1995. "The impact of transactional activities on productivity growth in Canada, and a comparison with the United States," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-15.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:25:y:1992:i:4:p:792-818. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Prof. Werner Antweiler). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.