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Climate and Scale In Economic Growth

  • William A. Masters
  • Margaret S. McMillan

This paper introduces new data on climatic conditions to empirical tests of growth theories. We find that, since 1960, temperate countries have converged towards a common high level of income while tropical nations have converged towards various income levels associated with economic scale and the extent of the market. These results for a wide range of tests. A plausible explanation is that temperate regions' growth was assisted by their climate, perhaps historically for their transition out of agriculture into sectors whose productivity converges across countries, while tropical countries' growth is relatively more dependent on gains from specialization and trade.

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File URL: http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cidwp/pdf/048.pdf
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Paper provided by Center for International Development at Harvard University in its series CID Working Papers with number 48.

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Date of creation: Jun 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wop:cidhav:48
Contact details of provider: Postal: Center for International Development at Harvard University (CID). 79 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.
Fax: 617-496-2554
Web page: http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cidwp/
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  1. R. L. Voortman & B. G. J. S. Sonneveld & M. A. Keyzer, 2000. "African Land Ecology: Opportunities and Constraints for Agricultural Development," CID Working Papers 37, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  2. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  3. Edwards, Sebastian, 1998. "Openness, Productivity and Growth: What Do We Really Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 383-98, March.
  4. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. Alberto F. Ades & Edward L. Glaeser, 1994. "Evidence on Growth, Increasing Returns and the Extent of the Market," NBER Working Papers 4714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Maredia, Mywish K. & Byerlee, Derek & Pee, Peter, 2000. "Impacts of food crop improvement research: evidence from sub-Saharan Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 531-559, October.
  7. Dalton, Timothy J. & A. Masters, William, 1998. "Pasture taxes and agricultural intensification in southern Mali," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 19(1-2), pages 27-32, September.
  8. Fulginiti, Lilyan E. & Perrin, Richard K., 1997. "LDC agriculture: Nonparametric Malmquist productivity indexes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 373-390, August.
  9. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Timothy J. Kehoe, 1992. "In search of scale effects in trade and growth," Staff Report 152, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Comparing Apples to Oranges: Productivity Convergence and Measurement across Industries and Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1216-38, December.
  11. Masters, William A. & Bedingar, Touba & Oehmke, James F., 1998. "The impact of agricultural research in Africa: aggregate and case study evidence," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 19(1-2), September.
  12. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  13. 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.
  14. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
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