Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences

71 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2004 Last revised: 4 Aug 2010

See all articles by Francesco Caselli

Francesco Caselli

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: October 2004

Abstract

Why are some countries so much richer than others? Development Accounting is a first-pass attempt at organizing the answer around two proximate determinants: factors of production and efficiency. It answers the question "how much of the cross-country income variance can be attributed to differences in (physical and human) capital, and how much to differences in the efficiency with which capital is used?" Hence, it does for the cross-section what growth accounting does in the time series. The current consensus is that efficiency is at least as important as capital in explaining income differences. I survey the data and the basic methods that lead to this consensus, and explore several extensions. I argue that some of these extensions may lead to a reconsideration of the evidence.

Suggested Citation

Caselli, Francesco, Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences (October 2004). NBER Working Paper No. w10828. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=603648

Francesco Caselli (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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