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Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer and Weil Seriously

  • Ben S. Bernanke
  • Refet S. Gurkaynak

Is long-run economic growth exogenous? To address this question, we show that the empirical framework of Mankiw, Romer, and Weil (1992) can be extended to test any growth model that admits a balanced growth path; and we use that framework both to revisit variants of the Solow growth model and to evaluate simple alternative models of endogenous growth. To allow for the possibility that economies in our sample are not on their balanced growth paths, we also study the cross-sectional behavior of TFP growth, which we estimate using alternative measures of labor's share. Our broad conclusion, based on both model estimation and growth accounting, is that long-run growth is significantly correlated with behavioral variables such as the savings rate, and that this correlation is not easily explained by models in which growth is treated as the exogenous variable. Hence, future empirical studies should focus on models that exhibit endogenous growth.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8365.

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Date of creation: Jul 2001
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Publication status: published as Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer, and Weil Seriously , Ben S. Bernanke, Refet S. Gürkaynak. in NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16 , Bernanke and Rogoff. 2002
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8365
Note: EFG
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  1. Barro, R. & Mankiw, G., 1992. "Capital Mobility in Neoclassical Models of Growth," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1615, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-63, July.
  3. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
  4. Durlauf, Steven N. & Quah, Danny T., 1999. "The new empirics of economic growth," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 235-308 Elsevier.
  5. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. King, Robert G & Rebelo, Sergio T, 1993. "Transitional Dynamics and Economic Growth in the Neoclassical Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 908-31, September.
  7. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  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. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
  10. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1963. "On the Concept of Optimal Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 163, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Susan M. Collins & Barry P. Bosworth, 1996. "Economic Growth in East Asia: Accumulation versus Assimilation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 135-204.
  12. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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