IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Nonlinearities in growth: From evidence to policy

  • Cohen-Cole, Ethan B.
  • Durlauf, Steven N.
  • Rondina, Giacomo

This paper considers the question of how one can translate evidence of nonlinearities and threshold effects in growth into policy recommendations. We argue that the current evidence of these effects, while important in terms of scholarly debates, does not readily lend itself to policy evaluation. The reasons for this are two-fold. First, the existing evidence on nonlinearities is relatively difficult to integrate into a common coherent view. Different models of nonlinearity appear in different papers; these models are often nonnested and do not present a clear alternative to linear growth models. Second, we argue that the econometric evidence of nonlinearities is often developed in ways that do not allow one to examine explicitly the effects of alternative policies on growth. We describe some recent econometric methods that can address these problems. To illustrate the utility of these methods we then study the current debate on the efficacy of aid on growth in developing countries. We find that none of our methods suggests that aid should be given to countries with better policy quality. In fact, when considering robust policies, our results strongly reject the conclusion that aid should be allocated in higher amounts to countries where the policy quality is high.

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: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0164070411000528
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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 Elsevier in its journal Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 42-58

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:34:y:2012:i:1:p:42-58
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmacro.2011.07.001
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622617

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. Jesus Crespo Cuaresma & Gernot Doppelhofer, 2006. "Nonlinearities in Cross-Country Growth Regressions: A Bayesian Averaging of Thresholds (BAT) Approach," Vienna Economics Papers 0608, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  2. Simeon Djankov & José García-Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2005. "The curse of aid," Working Papers 257, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  3. Winford H. Masanjala & Chris Papageorgiou, 2008. "Rough and lonely road to prosperity: a reexamination of the sources of growth in Africa using Bayesian model averaging," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(5), pages 671-682.
  4. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Carmen Fernandez & Eduardo Ley & Mark Steel, 2001. "Model uncertainty in cross-country growth regressions," Econometrics 0110002, EconWPA.
  6. Galor, Oded, 1996. "Convergence? Inferences from Theoretical Models," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 1056-69, July.
  7. Johnson, Paul & Durlauf, Steven N & Temple, Johnathan R. W., 2004. "Growth Econometrics," Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series 61, Vassar College Department of Economics.
    • Durlauf, Steven N. & Johnson, Paul A. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2005. "Growth Econometrics," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 555-677 Elsevier.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
  9. Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Racine, Jeff & Stengos, Thanasis, 2007. "Growth and convergence: A profile of distribution dynamics and mobility," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 483-508, February.
  10. Durlauf, S.M. & Johnson, P.A., 1995. "Multiple Regimes and Cross-Country Growth Behavior," Working papers 9419r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  11. Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2005. "What Undermines Aid's Impact on Growth?," NBER Working Papers 11657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Gernot Doppelhofer & Ronald I. Miller & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2000. "Determinants of Long-Term Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," NBER Working Papers 7750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Magnus, Jan R. & Powell, Owen & Prüfer, Patricia, 2010. "A comparison of two model averaging techniques with an application to growth empirics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 154(2), pages 139-153, February.
  14. Daniel J. Henderson, 2010. "A test for multimodality of regression derivatives with application to nonparametric growth regressions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 458-480.
  15. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2001. "Aid and growth regressions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 547-570, April.
  16. Durlauf, Steven N. & Quah, Danny T., 1999. "The new empirics of economic growth," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 235-308 Elsevier.
  17. Oecd, 2002. "Aid volume, channels and allocations for poverty reduction," OECD Journal on Development, OECD Publishing, vol. 3(3), pages 33-46.
  18. William Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2000. "Interactions-Based Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0258, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Statistical Treatment Rules for Heterogeneous Populations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(4), pages 1221-1246, 07.
  20. Abhijit Banerjee & Shawn Cole & Esther Duflo & Leigh Linden, 2005. "Remedying education: Evidence from two randomized experiments in india," Framed Field Experiments 00122, The Field Experiments Website.
  21. Craig Burnside & David Dollar, 2004. "Aid, Policies, and Growth: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 781-784, June.
  22. Burnside, Craig & Dollar, David, 1997. "Aid, policies, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1777, The World Bank.
  23. Duffy, John & Papageorgiou, Chris, 2000. "A Cross-Country Empirical Investigation of the Aggregate Production Function Specification," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 87-120, March.
  24. Andros Kourtelos & Chih Ming Tan & Xiaobo Zhang, 2006. "Is the Relationship Between Aid and Economics Growth Nonlinear?," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 11-2006, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  25. Christopher A. Sims, 2002. "The Role of Models and Probabilities in the Monetary Policy Process," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 1-62.
  26. Banerjee, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther, 2004. "Do Firms Want to Borrow More? Testing Credit Constraints Using a Directed Lending Program," CEPR Discussion Papers 4681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent, 2007. "Introduction to Robustness," Introductory Chapters, in: Robustness Princeton University Press.
  28. Costas Azariadis & Allan Drazen, 1990. "Threshold Externalities in Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 501-526.
  29. R. Lensink & H. White, 2001. "Are There Negative Returns to Aid?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 42-65.
  30. Alexei Onatski & Noah Williams, 2003. "Modeling Model Uncertainty," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1087-1122, 09.
  31. Charles C. Chang & Eduardo Fernández-Arias & Luis Servén, 1998. "Measuring Aid Flows: A New Approach," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6447, Inter-American Development Bank.
  32. Cem Ertur & Wilfried Koch, 2007. "Growth, technological interdependence and spatial externalities: theory and evidence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(6), pages 1033-1062.
  33. Winford H. Masanjala & Chris Papageorgiou, 2004. "The Solow model with CES technology: nonlinearities and parameter heterogeneity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 171-201.
  34. Brock, William A. & Durlauf, Steven N. & Nason, James M. & Rondina, Giacomo, 2007. "Simple versus optimal rules as guides to policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 1372-1396, July.
  35. Bernard, Andrew B. & Durlauf, Steven N., 1996. "Interpreting tests of the convergence hypothesis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1-2), pages 161-173.
  36. H. Siebert, 2007. "Growth Policy," Chapters, in: Elgar Companion to Neo-Schumpeterian Economics, chapter 59 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  37. Davis, Lewis & Owen, Ann L. & Videras, Julio, 2007. "Do all countries follow the same growth process?," MPRA Paper 11589, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Sep 2008.
  38. Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2005. "Aid and Growth: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?," NBER Working Papers 11513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. Peter C.B. Phillips & Donggyu Sul, 2003. "The Elusive Empirical Shadow of Growth Convergence," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1398, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  40. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf & Kenneth D. West, 2003. "Policy Evaluation in Uncertain Economic Environments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 235-322.
  41. Fabio Canova, 1997. "Testing for convergence clubs in income per-capita: A predictive density approach," Economics Working Papers 404, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 1999.
  42. Pantelis Kalaitzidakis & Theofanis P. Mamuneas & Thanasis Stengos, 2000. "A non-linear sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(3), pages 604-617, August.
  43. Alexei Onatski & James H. Stock, 1999. "Robust monetary policy under model uncertainty in a small model of the U.S. economy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages -.
  44. 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.
  45. Epstein, Larry G & Wang, Tan, 1994. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing Under Knightian Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 283-322, March.
  46. Howitt, Peter & Mayer-Foulkes, David, 2005. "R&D, Implementation, and Stagnation: A Schumpeterian Theory of Convergence Clubs," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(1), pages 147-77, February.
  47. Brock,W.A. & Durlauf,S.N., 2004. "Identification of binary choice models with social interactions," Working papers 2, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  48. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2000. "Inequality and Growth: What Can the Data Say?," NBER Working Papers 7793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  49. John C. Williams & Andrew T. Levin, 2003. "Robust Monetary Policy with Competing Reference Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 291, Society for Computational Economics.
  50. Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2014. "What Undermines Aid’s Impact on Growth?," Working Papers id:6191, eSocialSciences.
  51. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf & Kenneth D. West, 2004. "Model Uncertainty and Policy Evaluation: Some Theory and Empirics," NBER Working Papers 10916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  52. Desdoigts, Alain, 1999. "Patterns of Economic Development and the Formation of Clubs," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 305-330, September.
  53. Itzhak Gilboa & David Schmeidler, 1989. "Maxmin Expected Utility with Non-Unique Prior," Post-Print hal-00753237, HAL.
  54. Manski, Charles F., 2007. "Minimax-regret treatment choice with missing outcome data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 105-115, July.
  55. Theo Eicher & Chris Papageorgiou & Oliver Röhn, 2007. "Unraveling the Fortunates of the Fortunate: An Iterative Bayesian Model Averaging (IBMA) Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1907, CESifo Group Munich.
  56. Papageorgiou, Chris, 2002. "Trade as a threshold variable for multiple regimes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 85-91, September.
  57. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 115-136, Summer.
  58. Henrik Hansen & Finn Tarp, 2000. "Aid effectiveness disputed," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 375-398, 04.
  59. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2002. "Aid allocation and poverty reduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1475-1500, September.
  60. Lee, Kevin & Pesaran, M Hashem & Smith, Ron, 1997. "Growth and Convergence in Multi-country Empirical Stochastic Solow Model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(4), pages 357-392, July-Aug..
  61. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  62. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Shawn Cole & Esther Duflo & Leigh Linden, 2007. "Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomized Experiments in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1235-1264.
  63. William Easterly & Ross Levine & David Roodman, 2004. "Aid, Policies, and Growth: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 774-780, June.
  64. Marco Alfo & Giovanni Trovato & Robert J. Waldmann, 2008. "Testing for country heterogeneity in growth models using a finite mixture approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 487-514.
  65. Manski, C.F., 1991. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: the Reflection Problem," Working papers 9127, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  66. Azariadis, Costas & Stachurski, John, 2005. "Poverty Traps," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5 Elsevier.
  67. Durlauf,S.N. & Kourtellos,A. & Minkin,A., 2000. "The local Solow growth model," Working papers 21, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  68. Bloom, David E & Canning, David & Sevilla, Jaypee, 2003. "Geography and Poverty Traps," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 355-378, December.
  69. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent, 2001. "Acknowledging Misspecification in Macroeconomic Theory," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(3), pages 519-535, July.
  70. Fiaschi, Davide & Lavezzi, Andrea Mario, 2003. "Distribution Dynamics and Nonlinear Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 379-401, December.
  71. Brock, William A. & Durlauf, Steven N., 2005. "Local robustness analysis: Theory and application," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 2067-2092, November.
  72. Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2005. "Colonialism, Inequality, and Long-Run Paths of Development," NBER Working Papers 11057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  73. Liu, Zhenjuan & Stengos, Thanasis, 1999. "Non-linearities in Cross-Country Growth Regressions: A Semiparametric Approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(5), pages 527-538, Sept.-Oct.
  74. Andros Kourtellos, 2002. "Modeling Parameter Heterogeneity in Cross Country Growth Regression Models," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 0212, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  75. Nazrul Islam, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-1170.
  76. Giannoni, Marc P., 2002. "Does Model Uncertainty Justify Caution? Robust Optimal Monetary Policy In A Forward-Looking Model," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 111-144, February.
  77. 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.
  78. Johnson, Paul A. & Takeyama, Lisa N., 2001. "Initial conditions and economic growth in the US states," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 919-927, May.
  79. Andros Kourtellos, 2002. "A Projection Pursuit Approach to Cross Country Growth Data," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 0213, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  80. Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2003. "Institutional and Non-Institutional Explanations of Economic Differences," NBER Working Papers 9989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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:eee:jmacro:v:34:y:2012:i:1:p:42-58. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)

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.