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Climate and scale in economic growth

  • Margaret S. McMillan
  • William A. Masters

This paper introduces new data on climatic conditions to empirical tests of growth theories. We find that, since 1960, temperate countries have converged towards high levels of income while tropical nations have converged towards various income levels associated with economic scale and the extent of the market. These results hold for a wide range of tests. A plausible explanation is that temperate regions' growth was assisted by their climate, perhaps historically for their transition out of agriculture into sectors whose productivity converges across countries, while tropical countries' growth is relatively more dependent on gains from specialization and trade.

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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2000-13.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2000-13
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  1. Masters, William A. & Bedingar, Touba & Oehmke, James F., 1998. "The impact of agricultural research in Africa: aggregate and case study evidence," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 19(1-2), pages 81-86, September.
  2. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 681-716, August.
  3. Lilyan E. Fulginiti & Richard K. Perrin, 2005. "LDC Agriculture: Non-parametric Malmquist productivity indexes," Development and Comp Systems 0502025, EconWPA.
  4. Backus, David K. & Kehoe, Patrick J. & Kehoe, Timothy J., 1992. "In search of scale effects in trade and growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 377-409, December.
  5. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  6. Dalton, Timothy J. & Masters, William A., 1998. "Pasture taxes and agricultural intensification in southern Mali," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 19(1-2), September.
  7. Alberto F. Ades & Edward L. Glaeser, 1999. "Evidence On Growth, Increasing Returns, And The Extent Of The Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 1025-1045, August.
  8. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  9. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Comparing Apples to Oranges: Productivity Convergence and Measurement across Industries and Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1216-38, December.
  10. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  11. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  12. Maredia, Mywish K. & Byerlee, Derek & Pee, Peter, 2000. "Impacts of food crop improvement research: evidence from sub-Saharan Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 531-559, October.
  13. Sebastian Edwards, 1997. "Openness, Productivity and Growth: What Do We Really Know?," NBER Working Papers 5978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. R. L. Voortman & B. G. J. S. Sonneveld & M. A. Keyzer, 2000. "African Land Ecology: Opportunities and Constraints for Agricultural Development," CID Working Papers 37, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
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