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Model-robustness in ‘old’ and ‘new’ growth theory


  • Francesco Guala

    (Department of Sociology & Philosophy, University of Exeter)

  • Andrea Salanti

    () (Department of Management and Information Technology, University of Bergamo)


In economics, models, rather than theories, seem to be the fundamental units of appraisal and practitioners seem to hold in high esteem the criterion of ‘robustness’. In this paper we shall try to explicate the multifarious notion of robustness, and articulate it on three different dimensions. In order to show their relevance to concrete economic practice we shall apply these notions of robustness to a particular case: the "old" vs. "new" growth theory. Special attention will be paid to the robustness of the implied causal mechanisms, due to its substantial role concerning the possibility of deriving sound policy prescriptions from models.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Guala & Andrea Salanti, 2002. "Model-robustness in ‘old’ and ‘new’ growth theory," Working Papers (-2012) 0201, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:brg:wpaper:0201

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Francesco Guala & Andrea Salanti, 2002. "On the Robustness of Economic Models," Working Papers (-2012) 0208, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
    2. Pierre Salmon, 1996. "Free riding as mechanism," Working Papers hal-01526985, HAL.
    3. Nancy Cartwright, 1991. "Replicability, Reproducibility, and Robustness: Comments on Harry Collins," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 143-155, Spring.
    4. Durlauf, Steven N. & Quah, Danny T., 1999. "The new empirics of economic growth," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 235-308 Elsevier.
    5. Durlauf, Steven N., 2001. "Manifesto for a growth econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 65-69, January.
    6. Musgrave, Alan, 1981. "'Unreal Assumptions' in Economic Theory: The F-Twist Untwisted," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(3), pages 377-387.
    7. Roger E. Backhouse, 1997. "Truth and Progress in Economic Knowledge," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 766.
    8. Marcel Boumans & Mary Morgan, 2002. "Ceteris paribus conditions: materiality and the application of economic theories," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 11-26.
    9. Crafts, Nick, 1996. "'Post-neoclassical Endogenous Growth Theory': What Are Its Policy Implications?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 30-47, Summer.
    10. 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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    More about this item


    growth; modelling; robustness;

    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General


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