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Growth Theory

  • Boyan Jovanovic

Growth theory offers two plausible explanations of growth. One stresses the supply of productive ideas and holds that the industrial revolution had to wait until we had thought up enough inventions to lift us into the era of modern growth. It says, roughly, that the growth of living standards depends on the growth of science. The other explanation stresses incentives: Growth could begin only when hard work and business enterprise were free of heavy taxation, of social stigma and of other interference by the government and the church. The first branch of theory is well developed; it is the second that now challenges the growth economist to explain not just growth, but the evolution of political and religious institutions and social attitudes as well.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7468.

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Date of creation: Jan 2000
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Publication status: published as Jovanovic, Boyan. “Economic Growth: Theory” International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7468
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  1. Azariadis, Costas & Drazen, Allan, 1990. "Threshold Externalities in Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 501-26, May.
  2. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  3. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Barriers to Riches," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661306, June.
  4. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52, January.
  5. repec:fth:starer:9816 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Boyan Jovanovic, 1998. "Vintage Capital and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 6416, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1989. "Industrialization and the Big Push," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1003-26, October.
  8. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "Time Series Tests of Endogenous Growth Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 495-525, May.
  9. repec:fth:starer:98-16 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Mokyr, Joel, 1992. "Technological Inertia in Economic History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(02), pages 325-338, June.
  11. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
  12. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 681-716, August.
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