Losers and Winners in Economic Growth
NBER Working Paper No. 4341
For 116 countries from 1965 to 1985, the lowest quintile had an average growth rate of real per capita GDP of -1.3%, whereas the highest quintile had an average of 4.8%. We isolate five influences that discriminate reasonably well between the slow and fast-growers: a conditional convergence effect, whereby a country grows faster if it begins with lower real per capita GDP relative to its initial level of human capital in the fOnTIS of educational attainment and health; a positive effect on growth from a high ratio of investment to GDP (although this effect is weaker than that reported in some previous studies); a negative effect from overly large government; a negative effect from government-induced distortions of markets; and a negative effect from political instability. Overall, the fitted growth rates for 85 countries for 1965-85 had a correlation of 0.8 with the actual values. We also find that female educational attainment has a pronounced negative effect on fertility, whereas female and male attainment are each positively related to life expectancy and negatively related to infant mortality. Male attainment plays a positive role in primary-school enrollment ratios, and male and female attainment relate positively to enrollment at the secondary and higher levels.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w4341