NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Facts of Economic Growth

Charles I. Jones

NBER Working Paper No. 21142
Issued in May 2015
NBER Program(s):EFG, PR

Why are people in the richest countries of the world so much richer today than 100 years ago? And why are some countries so much richer than others? Questions such as these define the field of economic growth. This paper documents the facts that underlie these questions. How much richer are we today than 100 years ago, and how large are the income gaps between countries? The purpose of the paper is to provide an encyclopedia of the fundamental facts of economic growth upon which our theories are built, gathering them together in one place and updating the facts with the latest available data.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21142

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