IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Are Any Growth Theories Robust?

  • StevenN. Durlauf
  • Andros Kourtellos
  • ChihMing Tan

This article investigates the strength of empirical evidence for various growth theories when there is model uncertainty with respect to the correct growth model. Using model averaging methods, we find little evidence that so-called fundamental growth theories play an important role in explaining aggregate growth. In contrast, we find strong evidence for macroeconomic policy effects and a role for unexplained regional heterogeneity, as well as some evidence of parameter heterogeneity in the aggregate production function. We conclude that the ability of cross-country growth regressions to adjudicate the relative importance of alternative growth theories is limited. Copyright � 2008 The Author(s).

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 118 (2008)
Issue (Month): 527 (03)
Pages: 329-346

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:118:y:2008:i:527:p:329-346
Contact details of provider: Postal: Office of the Secretary-General, School of Economics and Finance, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Fife, KY16 9AL, UK
Phone: +44 1334 462479
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Xavier Sala-I-Martin & Gernot Doppelhofer & Ronald I. Miller, 2004. "Determinants of Long-Term Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 813-835, September.
  2. Wacziarg, Romain & Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio, 2002. "Fractionalization," Research Papers 1744, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  3. Carmen Fernandez & Eduardo Ley & Mark Steel, 2001. "Model uncertainty in cross-country growth regressions," Econometrics 0110002, EconWPA.
  4. Edward E. Leamer, 1982. "Let's Take the Con Out of Econometrics," UCLA Economics Working Papers 239, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Mamuneas, T.P. & Savvides, A. & Stengos, T., 2002. "Economic Development and the Return to Human Capital: A Smooth Coefficient Semiparametric Approach," Working Papers 2002-14, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  6. Francesco Caselli, 2004. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," NBER Working Papers 10828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Steven N. Durlauf & Andros Kourtellos & Chih Ming Tan, 2012. "Is God in the details? A reexamination of the role of religion in economic growth," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(7), pages 1059-1075, November.
  8. repec:rus:hseeco:70719 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. 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.
  10. Simeon Djankov & Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, . "The Regulation of Entry," Working Paper 19462, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  11. James Feyrer, 2007. "Demographics and Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 100-109, February.
  12. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  13. 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, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  14. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Athony Garratt & Kevin Lee & Mohammad Hashem Pesaran & Yongcheol Shin, 2001. "Forecast Uncertainties in Macroeconomics Modelling: An Application to the UK Economy," ESE Discussion Papers 64, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  16. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  17. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment Updates and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2002. "People's Opium? Religion and Economic Attitudes," CEPR Discussion Papers 3588, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Ben S. Bernanke & Refet S. Gürkaynak, 2002. "Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer, and Weil Seriously," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  22. Peter J. Klenow & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2004. "Externalities and Growth," NBER Working Papers 11009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Durlauf, Steven N. & Kourtellos, Andros & Minkin, Artur, 2001. "The local Solow growth model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 928-940, May.
  24. Cohen-Cole, Ethan B. & Durlauf, Steven N. & Rondina, Giacomo, 2012. "Nonlinearities in growth: From evidence to policy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 42-58.
  25. Wong Wei-Kang, 2007. "Economic Growth: A Channel Decomposition Exercise," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-38, January.
  26. Hjort N.L. & Claeskens G., 2003. "Frequentist Model Average Estimators," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 98, pages 879-899, January.
  27. Bruce E. Hansen, 2007. "Least Squares Model Averaging," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(4), pages 1175-1189, 07.
  28. Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
  29. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth across Countries," Scholarly Articles 3708464, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  30. Azariadis, Costas & Drazen, Allan, 1990. "Threshold Externalities in Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 501-26, May.
  31. Chih Ming Tan, 2005. "No One True Path: Uncovering the Interplay between Geography, Institutions, and Fractionalization in Economic Development," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0512, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  32. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2003. "Institutions Don't Rule: Direct Effects of Geography on Per Capita Income," NBER Working Papers 9490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Cogley, Timothy & Sargent, Thomas J., 2005. "The conquest of U.S. inflation: learning and robustness to model uncertainty," Working Paper Series 0478, European Central Bank.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:118:y:2008:i:527:p:329-346. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.