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A defense of AK growth models

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  • Ellen R. McGrattan

Abstract

AK growth models predict that permanent changes in government policies affecting investment rates should lead to permanent changes in a country’s GDP growth. Charles Jones (1995) sees no evidence for this prediction in data for 15 OECD countries after World War II: rates of investment, especially for equipment, have risen while GDP growth rates have not. This article provides evidence supporting the AK models’ prediction. Data back to the 19th century show a strong positive relationship between investment rates and growth rates and short-lived deviations from trends. A strong positive relationship also exists between average rates of investment and growth in postwar data for a large cross-section of countries. To account for the short-run deviations in rates that Jones highlights, the model he used is extended to allow policies to affect not only investment/output ratios but also capital/output ratios and labor/leisure decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellen R. McGrattan, 1998. "A defense of AK growth models," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 13-27.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmqr:y:1998:i:fall:p:13-27:n:v.22no.4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stokey, Nancy L & Rebelo, Sergio, 1995. "Growth Effects of Flat-Rate Taxes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 519-550, June.
    2. McGrattan, Ellen R. & Schmitz, James Jr., 1999. "Explaining cross-country income differences," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 669-737 Elsevier.
    3. King, Robert G & Rebelo, Sergio, 1990. "Public Policy and Economic Growth: Developing Neoclassical Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 126-150, October.
    4. Cooley, Thomas F & Ohanian, Lee E, 1997. "Postwar British Economic Growth and the Legacy of Keynes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 439-472, June.
    5. Charles I. Jones, 1995. "Time Series Tests of Endogenous Growth Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 495-525.
    6. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 1997. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 342-362, June.
    7. Maddison, Angus, 1992. " A Long-Run Perspective on Saving," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(2), pages 181-196.
    8. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Equipment Investment and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 445-502.
    9. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
    10. Jason G. Cummins & Kevin A. Hassett & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1995. "Have Tax Reforms Affected Investment?," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 9, pages 131-150 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E & Rossi, Peter E, 1993. "Optimal Taxation in Models of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 485-517, June.
    12. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth: Theory and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1008-1038, October.
    13. Kocherlakota, Narayana R & Yi, Kei-Mu, 1997. "Is There Endogenous Long-Run Growth? Evidence from the United States and the United Kingdom," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(2), pages 235-262, May.
    14. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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