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Modern economic growth and recent stagnation

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  • Scott L. Baier
  • Gerald P. Dwyer
  • Robert Tamura

Abstract

During the past 200 years, most countries have entered a period of modern economic growth-consistent increases in output, input, and productivity per worker that were rare in previous centuries. Even so, a few regions of the world have experienced stagnant or falling living standards in recent years, which some have interpreted as typical of modern economic growth in the last two centuries. ; Using data for most countries in the world since the 1800s and early 1900s, the authors find that (1) economic growth has improved the lives of people all around the world compared to those of their ancestors and (2) the economic stagnation or decline in some parts of the world in recent decades is unusual in the broader context of the history of the world since 1800. ; The authors find that economic growth had become nearly global by the 1950s, and the recent economic declines in four regions in recent decades are atypical. Decreases in income and productivity are likely to be transitory in Central and Eastern Europe but may be longer lasting in the Middle East and Latin America. While modern economic growth may never have begun in Sub-Saharan Africa, government policies in that region have done more to throttle economic growth than to encourage it.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott L. Baier & Gerald P. Dwyer & Robert Tamura, 2003. "Modern economic growth and recent stagnation," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q3, pages 45-62.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedaer:y:2003:i:q3:p:45-62:n:v.88no.3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cardoso, Eliana A. & Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1989. "Foreign private capital flows," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 26, pages 1387-1439 Elsevier.
    2. Jan Willem Gunning & Paul Collier, 1999. "Explaining African Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 64-111.
    3. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
    4. Scott L. Baier & Gerald P. Dwyer & Robert Tamura, 2006. "How Important are Capital and Total Factor Productivity for Economic Growth?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 23-49, January.
    5. Barzel,Yoram, 1997. "Economic Analysis of Property Rights," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521597135, December.
    6. Nauro F. Campos & Abrizio Coricelli, 2002. "Growth in Transition: What We Know, What We Don't, and What We Should," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 793-836.
    7. Michael P. Dooley, 1994. "A Retrospective on the Debt Crisis," NBER Working Papers 4963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. William Easterly, 2002. "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550423, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Baier, Scott L. & Dwyer, Gerald Jr. & Tamura, Robert, 2004. "Does opening a stock exchange increase economic growth?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 311-331, April.

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    Keywords

    Economic history ; Economic development;

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