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The Great Growth Debate: A Statistical Look at Mankiw, Romer, and Weil, versus Islam

  • Jeffrey Edwards

This paper takes a purely statistical look at two of the most important empirical growth papers authored by Mankiw et al. [1992] and Islam [1995]. MRW claim that the Solow model is justified only when human capital is added to the regression, while Islam claims that cross-country heterogeneity is the actual culprit. In a statistical sense, the author of this study finds that Islam was correct in the fact that mean heterogeneity does exist in MRW’s data. However, after statistical adequacy is achieved, human capital continues to maintain its role as a significant determinant of growth even though the estimates are not robust for one of the two cross-country samples investigated. On the other hand, though Islam’s models were not without statistical problems, they continue to maintain their traditional form and his estimates are robust to respecification. This paper also exemplifies the need for objective statistical testing methods in applied work. Copyright IAES 2005

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11293-005-1646-z
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Article provided by International Atlantic Economic Society in its journal Atlantic Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 33 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 71-92

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Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:33:y:2005:i:1:p:71-92
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  1. Steven N. Durlauf & Danny T. Quah, 1998. "The New Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 6422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Barry P. Bosworth & Susan M. Collins, 2003. "The Empirics of Growth: An Update," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(2), pages 113-206.
  3. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
  4. Jeffrey Edwards & Anya McGuirk, 2004. "Kuznets Curveball: Missing the Regional Strike Zone," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(2), pages 222-234, August.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-23, May.
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