IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/2855.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Cross-Country Study of Growth, Saving, and Government

Author

Listed:
  • Robert J. Barro

Abstract

Models of endogenous economic growth can generate long-term growth without relying on exogenous changes in technology or population. A general feature of these models is the presence of constant or increasing returns in the factors that can be accumulated. I use some models of this type to study the determination of per capita growth, investment in physical and human capital, and population growth. The determinants of these variables involve aspects of government policy - including public infrastructure services, maintenance of property rights, government consumption, and taxation - and the initial level of per capita income. I examine the predicted relationships by using a cross-country sample that expands on the Summers-Heston set of about 120 countries. Aside from their data on levels of per capita GDP and the breakdown of GDP into components, I have added information about the composition of government expenditures, proxies for economic freedom and property rights, measures of political stability, and so on. This expansion in variables reduced the number of countries to 72. The findings verify some of the predictions about the determination of growth and investment/saving rates. For example, government consumption and investment spending, and proxies for economic freedom show up as suggested by the models. Also, the interplay among population growth, investment in human capital (school enrollment), and the initial level of per capita income confirm theoretical predictions about the tradeoff between the quantity and quality of children. I anticipate that additional results will emerge from my ongoing research in this area.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Barro, 1989. "A Cross-Country Study of Growth, Saving, and Government," NBER Working Papers 2855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2855
    Note: EFG
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2855.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
    3. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1963. "On the Concept of Optimal Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 163, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    4. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
    5. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 103-126, October.
    6. Scully, Gerald W, 1988. "The Institutional Framework and Economic Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 652-662, June.
    7. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-329, June.
    8. Barro, Robert J & Becker, Gary S, 1989. "Fertility Choice in a Model of Economic Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 481-501, March.
    9. Tamura, R., 1991. "Fertility , Human Capital and the "Wealth of Nations"," Working Papers 91-17, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
    10. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1988. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 1-25.
    11. Kormendi, Roger C. & Meguire, Philip G., 1985. "Macroeconomic determinants of growth: Cross-country evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 141-163, September.
    12. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2855. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.