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Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer, and Weil Seriously

In: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16

  • Ben S. Bernanke
  • Refet S. Gürkaynak

Is long-run economic growth exogenous? To address this question, we show that the empirical framework of Mankiw, Romer, and Weil (1992) can be extended to test any growth model that admits a balanced growth path; and we use that framework both to revisit variants of the Solow growth model and to evaluate simple alternative models of endogenous growth. To allow for the possibility that economies in our sample are not on their balanced growth paths, we also study the cross-sectional behavior of TFP growth, which we estimate using alternative measures of labor's share. Our broad conclusion, based on both model estimation and growth accounting, is that long-run growth is significantly correlated with behavioral variables such as the savings rate, and that this correlation is not easily explained by models in which growth is treated as the exogenous variable. Hence, future empirical studies should focus on models that exhibit endogenous growth.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth Rogoff, 2002. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern02-1, May.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11063.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11063
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1963. "On the Concept of Optimal Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 163, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    3. Robert J. Barro & N. Gregory Mankiw & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1992. "Capital Mobility in Neoclassical Models of Growth," NBER Working Papers 4206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. King, R.G. & Rebelo, S.T., 1989. "Transitional Dynamics And Economic Growth In The Neoclassical Model," RCER Working Papers 206, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    5. Steven N. Durlauf & Danny T. Quah, 1998. "The New Empirics of Economic Growth," Working Papers 98-01-012, Santa Fe Institute.
    6. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
    8. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    9. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    10. 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.
    11. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "Time Series Tests of Endogenous Growth Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 495-525, May.
    12. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    13. Susan M. Collins & Barry P. Bosworth, 1996. "Economic Growth in East Asia: Accumulation versus Assimilation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 135-204.
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