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The Policy and Institutional Drivers of Economic Growth Across OECD and Non-OECD Economies: New Evidence from Growth Regressions

  • Romain Bouis
  • Romain Duval
  • Fabrice Murtin

This paper analyses the policy and institutional determinants of long-run economic growth for a sample of OECD and non-OECD countries, with two objectives. First, it assesses the extent to which the main findings from growth regressions covering industrial countries are robust to a larger sample covering lower-income OECD and non-OECD countries. Confirmation is found from pooled mean group estimates for the larger sample of countries that long-run GDP per capita levels are increased inter alia by education policies, trade openness, R&D expenditures and policy frameworks that are conducive to low inflation, although the estimated effect of education is implausibly large. Second, the paper proposes a new growth regression framework that explicitly models technology diffusion and allows exploring the growth effects of a wider set of policies and institutions, while alleviating some of the constraints of the pooled mean group estimator. Under this approach, the estimated return to education is more in line with available evidence from microeconomic studies. Regulatory barriers to entrepreneurship, explicit barriers to trade and – especially – patent rights protection appear to be fairly robust determinants of long-run cross-country differences in technology. Some other policies and institutions such as trade liberalisation are found to speed up technology convergence. There is limited evidence here that the effects of policies and institutions vary depending on countries’ level of development. These findings are subject to the usual limitations of growth regression analysis. Les déterminants politiques et institutionnels de la croissance économique au sein des économies OCDE et non OCDE : nouveaux résultats à partir d'équations de croissance Cet article analyse les déterminants politiques et institutionnels de la croissance économique de long terme pour un échantillon de pays membres et non membres de l’OCDE avec deux objectifs. Premièrement, il évalue dans quelle mesure les principaux résultats de régressions couvrant des pays industrialisés sont robustes à un échantillon plus large couvrant les pays de l’OCDE à bas revenus et des pays non membres. Les résultats d’estimations en pooled mean group sur l’échantillon élargi de pays confirment que la croissance de long terme du PIB par tête augmente notamment avec les politiques d’éducation, l’ouverture aux échanges commerciaux, les dépenses en R-D et les structures politiques associées à un faible niveau d’inflation, bien que l’estimation élevée de l’effet de l’éducation soit peu plausible. Deuxièmement, le papier propose un nouveau cadre de régressions de croissance qui modélise de façon explicite la diffusion technologique et permet d’explorer les effets sur la croissance d’un ensemble plus vaste de politiques et d’institutions, tout en allégeant certaines des contraintes de l’estimateur pooled mean group. Sous cette approche, le rendement estimé de l’éducation est davantage en accord avec les estimations provenant d’études microéconomiques. Les barrières réglementaires à l’entreprenariat, les barrières explicites aux échanges commerciaux et surtout, la protection des droits sur les brevets apparaissent comme des déterminants assez robustes des différences technologiques de long terme entre pays. D’autres politiques et institutions, telles que la libéralisation des échanges commerciaux, accélèrent la convergence technologique. Il existe une évidence limitée en faveur d’effets différents des politiques et des institutions suivant le niveau de développement des pays. Ces résultats sont soumis aux limites habituelles de l’analyse en régressions de croissance.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 843.

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Date of creation: 14 Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:843-en
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