Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries
In neoclassical growth models with diminishing returns to capital, a country's per capita growth rate tends to be inversely related to its initial level of income per person. This convergence hypothesis seems to be inconsistent with the cross-country evidence, which indicates that per capita growth rates for about 100 countries in the post-World War II period are uncorrelated with the starting level of per capita product. However, if one holds constant measures of initial human capital-measured by primary and secondary school-enrollment rates - there is evidence that countries with lower per capita product tend to grow faster. Countries with higher human capital also have lower fertility rates and higher ratios of physical investment to GDP. These results on growth, fertility, and investment are consistent with some recent theories of endogenous economic growth. With regard to government, the cross-country data indicate that government consumption is inversely related to growth, whereas public investment has little relation with growth. Average growth rates are positively related to political stability, which may capture the benefits of secure property rights. There is also some indication that distortions of investment-goods prices are adverse for growth. Finally, the analysis leaves unexplained a good deal of the relatively weak growth performances of countries in sub- Saharan Africa and Latin America.
|Date of creation:||Sep 1989|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. CVI, No. 425, pp. 407-443, (May 1991).|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1963. "On the Concept of Optimal Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 163, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
- Robert J. Barro, 1991.
"A Cross-Country Study of Growth, Saving, and Government,"
in: National Saving and Economic Performance, pages 271-304
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert J. Barro, 1989. "A Cross-Country Study of Growth, Saving, and Government," NBER Working Papers 2855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rebelo, Sergio, 1991.
"Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
- Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
- White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3120. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.