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Growth Outside The Stable Path: Lessons From The European Reconstruction

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  • Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado

Abstract

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(3), 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," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-07, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    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.
    5. Travers Barclay Child & Elena Nikolova, 2020. "War and social attitudes," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 37(2), pages 152-171, March.
    6. Talan B. Işcan, 2009. "Engel and Baumol: How much can they explain the rise of service employment in the United States?," Working Papers daleconwp2009-03, Dalhousie University, Department of Economics.

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    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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