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Growth Outside The Stable Path: Lessons From The European Reconstruction


  • Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado



This paper exploits a natural experiment, the large destruction of capital in continental Europe during World War II, to characterize the transitional dynamics of an economy that begins with a capital stock below its steady state level. We use these regularities as a benchmark to discriminate among competing growth specifications. A model that combines non-separabilities in preferences with a technology that restricts the degree of substitutability between inputs outperforms the widely used AK and Cobb-Douglas specifications with time-separable preferences. Our results suggest that policy evaluations based in growth models that overlook non-separabilities in preferences or impose strong restrictions on the technological structure might be grossly misleading.

Suggested Citation

  • Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado, 2006. "Growth Outside The Stable Path: Lessons From The European Reconstruction," Departmental Working Papers 2006-02, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcl:mclwop:2006-02

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    Cited by:

    1. Schäfer, Andreas & Valente, Simone, 2011. "Habit Formation, Dynastic Altruism, And Population Dynamics," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(03), pages 365-397, June.
    2. Simon Gilchrist & John C. Williams, 2001. "Transition Dynamics in Vintage Capital Models: Explaining the Postwar Catch-up of Germany and Japan," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-113, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    3. Simone Valente, 2009. "International status seeking, trade, and growth leadership," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(2), pages 554-589, May.
    4. Alvarez-Cuadrado, Francisco & Pintea, Mihaela I., 2009. "A quantitative exploration of the Golden Age of European growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1437-1450, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • E10 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - General

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