IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/unm/unumer/2012032.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Proximate, intermediate and ultimate causality: Theories and experiences of growth and development

Author

Listed:
  • Szirmai, Adam

    (UNU-MERIT / MGSOG, Maastricht University)

Abstract

For a better understanding of development, we are interested in why in the long run some countries or societies forge ahead, while others stagnate or fall behind. We are especially interested in the conditions under which growth and catch- up can be realised in developing countries. In section 1 of this paper, we develop a framework of proximate, intermediate and ultimate sources of growth and development which serves to structure the analysis and measurement of economic development. Sections 2 to 6 offer a review of classical and modern theories of development and stagnation, in the context of the framework of proximate and ultimate causality developed in section 1. Special attention is paid to the interactions between institutions and growth in different theoretical traditions. Section 7 presents empirical time series on long-run economic trends in a sample of 31 developing countries representing 80 percent of the population of the developing world. These series focus on proximate causality and on socio-economic outcomes and highlight some of the key issues discussed in the theoretical overview in sections 2-6.

Suggested Citation

  • Szirmai, Adam, 2012. "Proximate, intermediate and ultimate causality: Theories and experiences of growth and development," MERIT Working Papers 2012-032, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2012032
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2012/wp2012-032.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
    2. Fagerberg, Jan, 2000. "Technological progress, structural change and productivity growth: a comparative study," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 393-411, December.
    3. Howard Pack, 1994. "Endogenous Growth Theory: Intellectual Appeal and Empirical Shortcomings," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 55-72, Winter.
    4. Fagerberg, Jan, 1994. "Technology and International Differences in Growth Rates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1147-1175, September.
    5. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
    6. John W. Kendrick, 1961. "Productivity Trends in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend61-1, November.
    7. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2006. "Distance to Frontier, Selection, and Economic Growth," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 37-74, March.
    8. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (III): Exchange," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 3, number mill1848-3.
    9. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    10. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    11. repec:dgr:rugggd:200253 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Stephen Broadberry & Bishnupriya Gupta, 2006. "The early modern great divergence: wages, prices and economic development in Europe and Asia, 1500–1800," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 59(1), pages 2-31, February.
    13. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, September.
    14. Szirmai,Adam, 2005. "The Dynamics of Socio-Economic Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521520843, November.
    15. Thorbecke, Erik & Charumilind, Chutatong, 2002. "Economic Inequality and Its Socioeconomic Impact," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1477-1495, September.
    16. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(2), pages 385-406, June.
    17. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
    18. Ha-Joon Chang, 2003. "Kicking Away the Ladder: Infant Industry Promotion in Historical Perspective 1," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 21-32.
    19. Szirmai, Adam & Verspagen, Bart, 2015. "Manufacturing and economic growth in developing countries, 1950–2005," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 46-59.
    20. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (I): Production," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 1, number mill1848-1.
    21. Prebisch, Raúl, 1950. "The economic development of Latin America and its principal problems," Sede de la CEPAL en Santiago (Estudios e Investigaciones) 29973, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    22. Jeffrey James, 2002. "Technology, Globalization and Poverty," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2185.
    23. Mario Cimoli & Giovanni Dosi & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2008. "The Political Economy of Capabilities Accumulation: the Past and Future of Policies for Industrial Development. A Preface," LEM Papers Series 2008/15, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    24. Szirmai, Adam & Yamfwa, Francis & Lwamba, Chibwe, 2002. "Zambian manufacturing performance in comparative perspective," GGDC Research Memorandum 200253, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
    25. Maddison, Angus, 1987. "Growth and Slowdown in Advanced Capitalist Economies: Techniques of Quantitative Assessment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 649-698, June.
    26. Alwyn Young, 1995. "The Tyranny of Numbers: Confronting the Statistical Realities of the East Asian Growth Experience," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 641-680.
    27. Chris Freeman & Luc Soete, 1997. "The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262061953.
    28. Baumol, William J, 1986. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: What the Long-run Data Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1072-1085, December.
    29. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hannah Pieters & Andrea Guariso & Anneleen Vandeplas, 2013. "Conceptual framework for the analysis of the determinants of food and nutrition security," FOODSECURE Working papers 13, LEI Wageningen UR.
    2. Valeriy V. Mironov & Liudmila D. Konovalova, 2019. "Structural changes and economic growth in the world economy and Russia," Russian Journal of Economics, ARPHA Platform, vol. 5(1), pages 1-26, April.
    3. Wim Naudé & Adam Szirmai, 2013. "Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Development," Working Papers 2013/17, Maastricht School of Management.
    4. Franziska Gassmann & Cecile Cherrier & Andrés Mideros Mora & Pierre Mohnen, 2013. "Making the Investment Case for Social Protection: Methodological challenges with lessons learnt from a recent study in Cambodia," Papers inwopa694, Innocenti Working Papers.
    5. Cingolani, Luciana & Crombrugghe, Denis de, 2012. "Techniques for dealing with reverse causality between institutions and economic performance," MERIT Working Papers 2012-034, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    6. Mideros A. & Gassmann F. & Mohnen P., 2013. "Estimation of rates of return of social protection instruments. Making the case for non-contributory social transfers in Cambodia," MERIT Working Papers 2013-063, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    7. Broich, T. & Szirmai, A., 2014. "China's economic embrace of Africa: An international comparative perspective," MERIT Working Papers 2014-049, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    8. Bluhm, Richard & Szirmai, Adam, 2012. "Institutions and long-run growth performance: An analytic literature review of the institutional determinants of economic growth," MERIT Working Papers 2012-033, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Mark Rogers, 2003. "A Survey of Economic Growth," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 79(244), pages 112-135, March.
    2. Peter Mulder & Henri Groot, 2007. "Sectoral Energy- and Labour-Productivity Convergence," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 36(1), pages 85-112, January.
    3. Rensman, Marieke, 1996. "Economic growth and technological change in the long run : a survey of theoretical and empirical literature," Research Report 96C10, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    4. repec:dgr:rugsom:96c10 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Andersson, Fredrik N.G. & Edgerton, David L. & Opper, Sonja, 2013. "A Matter of Time: Revisiting Growth Convergence in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 239-251.
    6. Angus Maddison, 1997. "Causal Influences on Productivity Performance 1820–1992: A Global Perspective," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 325-359, November.
    7. Bayraktar-Sağlam, Bahar & Yetkiner, Hakan, 2014. "A Romerian contribution to the empirics of economic growth," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 257-272.
    8. Peter Mulder & Henri Groot, 2007. "Sectoral Energy- and Labour-Productivity Convergence," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 36(1), pages 85-112, January.
    9. Jones, C.I., 2016. "The Facts of Economic Growth," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 3-69, Elsevier.
    10. Robert W. Arnold, 2003. "Modeling Long-Run Economic Growth: Technical Paper 2003-04," Working Papers 14497, Congressional Budget Office.
    11. Peter Mulder & Raymond J.G.M. Florax & Henri L.F. de Groot, 2011. "A Spatial Perspective on Global Energy Productivity Trends," Chapters, in: Raymond J.G.M. Florax & Henri L.F. de Groot & Peter Mulder (ed.), Improving Energy Efficiency through Technology, chapter 2, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Alan M. Taylor, 1995. "Growth and Convergence in the Asia-Pacific Region: On the Role of Openness, Trade and Migration," NBER Working Papers 5276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Miron, Dumitru & Dima, Alina & Paun, Cristian, 2009. "A model for assessing Romania's real convergence based on distances and clusters methods," MPRA Paper 31410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Folster, Stefan & Henrekson, Magnus, 1999. "Growth and the public sector: a critique of the critics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 337-358, June.
    15. Adriana Di Liberto, 2007. "Convergence and Divergence in Neoclassical Growth Models with Human Capital," Economia politica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 289-322.
    16. Mastromarco, Camilla & Ghosh, Sucharita, 2009. "Foreign Capital, Human Capital, and Efficiency: A Stochastic Frontier Analysis for Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 489-502, February.
    17. Ross Levine, 1990. "Stock markets, growth, and policy," International Finance Discussion Papers 374, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    18. Jan Fagerberg & Martin Srholec, 2005. "Catching up: What are the Critical Factors for success?," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20050401, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    19. Fagerberg, Jan & Srholec, Martin & Verspagen, Bart, 2010. "Innovation and Economic Development," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 833-872, Elsevier.
    20. Taylor, Alan M., 1999. "Sources of convergence in the late nineteenth century," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(9), pages 1621-1645, October.
    21. Kumar, Surender & Managi, Shunsuke, 2012. "Productivity and convergence in India: A state-level analysis," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 548-559.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Theories of Economic Development; Economic Growth; Proximate Causality; Intermediate Causality; Ultimate Causality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2012032. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/meritnl.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Ad Notten (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/meritnl.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.