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Development Accounting and the Rise of TFP

  • Reda Cherif
  • Rabah Arezki

The paper presents evidence that the contribution of differences in total factor productivity (TFP) to income differences across countries steadily increased between 1970 and 2000. We verify that our finding is neither imputable to measurement errors in input factors nor dependent on the assumption of factor neutral differences in technology. We conclude that theories explaining cross-country income differences based on institutions or on forces that are constant over time, such as geography or legal origin, should be reconsidered in the light of their consistency with the rise of the explanatory power of TFP.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 10/101.

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Length: 32
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/101
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  1. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2010. "Development Accounting," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 207-23, January.
  2. Caselli, Francesco & Coleman II, Wilbur John, 2000. "The World Technology Frontier," CEPR Discussion Papers 2584, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
  4. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "International Comparisons of Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 4349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  7. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  9. Pritchett, Lant, 2000. " The Tyranny of Concepts: CUDIE (Cumulated, Depreciated, Investment Effort) Is Not Capital," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 361-84, December.
  10. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  11. Pritchett, Lant, 2006. "Does Learning to Add up Add up? The Returns to Schooling in Aggregate Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
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