The New Kaldor Facts: Ideas, Institutions, Population, and Human Capital
31 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2009 Last revised: 31 Mar 2023
Date Written: June 2009
In 1961, Nicholas Kaldor used his list of six "stylized" facts both to summarize the patterns that economists had discovered in national income accounts and to shape the growth models that they were developing to explain them. Redoing this exercise today, nearly fifty years later, shows how much progress we have made. In contrast to Kaldor's facts, which revolved around a single state variable, physical capital, our six updated facts force consideration of four far more interesting variables: ideas, institutions, population, and human capital. Dynamic models have uncovered subtle interactions between these variables and generated important insights about such big questions as: Why has growth accelerated? Why are there gains from trade?
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