Patterns of economic growth : hills, plateaus, mountains, and plains
Except during the Great Depression, the historical path for per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the United Stateshas been reasonably stable exponential trend growth, with modest cyclical deviation. Graphically, growth in the United States displays as a modestly sloping, only slightly bumpy, hill. But almost nothing that is true about per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the United States (or for other member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)) is true for developing countries. First, per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in most developing countries does not follow a single time trend: For a given country, there is great instability in growth rates over time, relative to both average level of growth and to cross-sectional variance. These shifts in growth rates lead to distinct patterns. Some countries have had steady growth (hills and steep hills); others have had rapid growth followed by stagnation (plateaus); others have had rapid growth followed by declines (mountains) or even catastrophic declines (cliffs): still others have experienced continuous stagnation (plains) or even steady decline (valleys). Second, volatility--however measures--is much greater in developing than in industrial countries. These stylized observations about growth rates, the author concludes, suggest that it may be useless to use"panel data"to investigate long-term growth rates in developing countries. Perhaps more can be learned about developing countries by investigating what initiates (or halts) episodes of growth. There is something of a professional split in"growth"literature, the author observes. Macroeconomists studying industrial countries discuss steady-state growth and ponder whether all countries in the convergence club will reach the same happy level in the end. Development economists, on the other hand, are the pathologists of economics, having discovered that developing countries are most emphatically not all alike. Developing countries have found ways to be ecstatic but they have also discovered many different ways to be unhappy.
|Date of creation:||31 Jul 1998|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433|
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Quah, Danny T, 1996.
"Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 1045-55, July.
- Quah, Danny, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 1355, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Levine, Ross, 1996.
"Financial development and economic growth : views and agenda,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
1678, The World Bank.
- Ross Levine, 1997. "Financial Development and Economic Growth: Views and Agenda," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 688-726, June.
- Nazrul Islam, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-1170.
- Atish R. Ghosh & Holger Wolf, 1998. "Thresholds and Context Dependence in Growth," NBER Working Papers 6480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995.
"Economic Convergence and Economic Policies,"
CASE Network Studies and Analyses
0035, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
- Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Economic Convergence and Economic Policies," NBER Working Papers 5039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Economic Convergence and Economic Policies," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1715, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Andrews, Donald W K, 1989.
"Power in Econometric Applications,"
Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 1059-90, September.
- Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1997.
"I Just Ran Two Million Regressions,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 178-83, May.
- Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996.
"A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality,"
CEMA Working Papers
512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
- Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999.
"A Data Set on Income Distribution,"
CEMA Working Papers
575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- Dan Ben-David & David H. Papell, 1998.
"Slowdowns And Meltdowns: Postwar Growth Evidence From 74 Countries,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 561-571, November.
- Ben-David, D. & Papell, D.H., 1996. "Slowdowns and Meltdowns: Post-War Growth Evidence from 74 Countries," Papers 9-96, Tel Aviv.
- Dan Ben-David & David H. Papell, 1997. "Slowdowns and Meltdowns: Postwar Growth Evidence from 74 Countries," NBER Working Papers 6266, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ben-David, Dan & Papell, David, 1995. "Slowdowns and Meltdowns: Post-war Growth Evidence from 74 Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Bruno, Michael & Easterly, William, 1998.
"Inflation crises and long-run growth,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 3-26, February.
- Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1993.
"Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment,"
NBER Working Papers
4486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Income distribution, political instability, and investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1203-1228, June.
- Danny Quah, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0280, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994.
"Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
- Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Where has all the education gone?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1581, The World Bank.
- Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991.
"A sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
609, The World Bank.
- Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-63, September.
- Kamin, S.B., 1988. "Devaluation, External Balance, And Macroeconomic Performance: A Look At The Numbers," Princeton Studies in International Economics 62, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
- Kristin J. Forbes, 2000. "A Reassessment of the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 869-887, September.
- Danny Quah, 1996. "Twin peaks : growth and convergence in models of distribution dynamics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2278, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Mind your P's and Q's : the cost of public investment is not the value of public capital," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1660, The World Bank.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1947. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.