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Model uncertainty in cross-country growth regressions

  • Carmen Fernandez

    (School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Saint Andrews, UK)

  • Eduardo Ley

    (IMF Institute, International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC, USA)

  • Mark F. J. Steel

    (Institute of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Kent at Canterbury, UK)

We investigate the issue of model uncertainty in cross-country growth regressions using Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA). We find that the posterior probability is spread widely among many models, suggesting the superiority of BMA over choosing any single model. Out-of-sample predictive results support this claim. In contrast to Levine and Renelt (1992), our results broadly support the more 'optimistic' conclusion of Sala-i-Martin (1997b), namely that some variables are important regressors for explaining cross-country growth patterns. However, care should be taken in the methodology employed. The approach proposed here is firmly grounded in statistical theory and immediately leads to posterior and predictive inference. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2001)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 563-576

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Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:16:y:2001:i:5:p:563-576
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  1. De Long, J Bradford & Summers, Lawrence H, 1991. "Equipment Investment and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 445-502, May.
  2. Carmen Fernandez & Eduardo Ley & Mark F.J. Steel, 1998. "Benchmark Priors for Bayesian Model Averaging," Econometrics 9804001, EconWPA, revised 31 Jul 1999.
  3. Steven N. Durlauf & Danny T. Quah, 1998. "The New Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 6422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Barro, Robert J, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-43, May.
  5. Smith, Michael & Kohn, Robert, 1996. "Nonparametric regression using Bayesian variable selection," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 317-343, December.
  6. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991. "A sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 609, The World Bank.
  7. Siddhartha Chib & Edward Greenberg, 1994. "Markov Chain Monte Carlo Simulation Methods in Econometrics," Econometrics 9408001, EconWPA, revised 24 Oct 1994.
  8. repec:cup:etheor:v:12:y:1996:i:3:p:409-31 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Kormendi, Roger C. & Meguire, Philip G., 1985. "Macroeconomic determinants of growth: Cross-country evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 141-163, September.
  10. Temple, Jonathan, 2000. "Growth Regressions and What the Textbooks Don't Tell You," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 181-205, July.
  11. Edward E. Leamer, 1982. "Let's Take the Con Out of Econometrics," UCLA Economics Working Papers 239, UCLA Department of Economics.
  12. Xavier X. Sala-i-Martin, 1997. "I Just Ran Four Million Regressions," NBER Working Papers 6252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Leamer, Edward E, 1985. "Sensitivity Analyses Would Help," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 308-13, June.
  14. William A. Brock & Steven N.Durlauf, 2000. "Growth Economics and Reality," NBER Working Papers 8041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
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