Losers and Winners in Economic Growth

59 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2004 Last revised: 27 Mar 2010

See all articles by Robert J. Barro

Robert J. Barro

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jong-Wha Lee

Korea University

Date Written: April 1993

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Barro, Robert J. and Lee, Jong-Wha, Losers and Winners in Economic Growth (April 1993). NBER Working Paper No. w4341. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=420297

Robert J. Barro (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-3203 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jong-Wha Lee

Korea University ( email )

Anam-dong, Sungbuk-Ku
Dept. of Economics
Seoul, 136-701
82-2-3290-2216 (Phone)
82-2-928-4948 (Fax)

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