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A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth

  • N. Gregory Mankiw
  • David Romer
  • David N. Weil

This paper examines whether the Solow growth model is consistent with the international variation in the standard of living. It shows that an augmented Solow model that includes accumulation of human as well as physical capital provides an excellent description of the cross-country data. The model explains about 80 percent of the international variation in income per capita, and the estimated influences of physical-capital accumulation, human-capital accumulation, and population growth confirm the model's predictions. The paper also examines the implications of the Solow model for convergence in standards of living -- that is, for whether poor countries tend to grow faster than rich countries. The evidence indicates that, holding population growth and capital accumulation constant, countries converge at about the rate the augmented Solow model predicts.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3541.

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Date of creation: Dec 1990
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as The Quarterly Journal of Economics, pp. 407-437, (May 1992).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3541
Note: EFG
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  1. Easterlin, Richard A., 1981. "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(01), pages 1-17, March.
  2. Martin Feldstein & Charles Horioka, 1979. "Domestic Savings and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 0310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. J. Bradford De Long, . "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Comment," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _129, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
  4. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  5. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 1989. "Transitional Dynamics and Economic Growth in the Neoclassical Model," NBER Working Papers 3185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. George Psacharopoulos, 1985. "Returns to Education: A Further International Update and Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(4), pages 583-604.
  7. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1979. "Wages, Profits, and Macroeconomic Adjustment: A Comparative Study," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 10(2), pages 269-332.
  8. Paul M. Romer, 1987. "Crazy Explanations for the Productivity Slowdown," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 163-210 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  1. A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth (QJE 1992) in ReplicationWiki
  2. Economic Logic blog

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