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Economic Growth

Given the importance of economic growth in reducing poverty and improving living standards, understanding the process of economic growth is a key component of the research agenda. What factors and policies drive growth? And what are the consequences of growth for social development, including poverty alleviation and institutional progress?
Understanding growth is crucial to understanding the relative merits of government interventions in international trade, financial markets, health and education, public infrastructure, and governance. Earlier research, based mainly on macroeconomic data, yielded valuable insights on the mechanics of growth and the policies and institutional ingredients that robustly correlate with long-term growth.
Ongoing research seeks to achieve a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that translate policy actions and reforms into growth, and especially of the role of country-specific initial conditions and complementarities among different policies. Methodological approaches range from theoretical work based on analytical models along the lines of the growth literature to empirical work making use of micro and macroeconomic data.
Current research pays specific attention to innovation and technological upgrading, in line with the view that productivity growth is the main driver of long-term growth. Research examines how technological upgrading strategies in developing countries are affected by the policy and institutional environment, and how they shape the link between developed and developing countries’ growth over the short and the long run. Research is also concerned with the long-term growth consequences of fiscal policy, and especially public expenditure composition, and the role of fiscal rules and targets in shaping it.

Resource Persons

Publications and Working Papers

Journal articles, book chapters and other publications,
This page lists recent scholarly publications by staff working in the area of Macroeconomics and Growth.  Publications are organized by topic and appear in reverse chronological order.


Policy Research Working Papers

For more policy research working papers from the World Bank's institutional archives, search here using author’s last name, title or working paper number (“wpsxxxx”).

WPS6147Does the minimum wage affect employment ? evidence from the manufacturing sector in IndonesiaDel Carpio, Ximena; Nguyen, Ha Minh; Wang, Liang Choon2012/07
WPS6099Government spending multipliers in developing countries : evidence from lending by official creditorsKraay, Aart2012/06
WPS6026Productivity and the welfare of nationsBasu, Susanto; Pascali, Luigi; Schiantarelli, Fabio; Serven, Luis2012/04
WPS6015Do middle classes bring institutional reforms ?Loayza, Norman; Rigolini, Jamele; Llorente, Gonzalo2012/03
WPS5978Using pooled information and bootstrap methods to assess debt sustainability in low income countriesHevia, Constantino2012/02
WPS5959The impact of wealth on the amount and quality of child laborDel Carpio, Ximena V.; Loayza, Norman V.2012/01
WPS5763More than you can handle : decentralization and spending ability of Peruvian municipalitiesLoayza, Norman V.; Rigolini, Jamele; Calvo-Gonzalez, Oscar2011/08
WPS5701Export quality dynamicsKrishna, Pravin; F. Maloney, William2011/06
WPS5682Is infrastructure capital productive ? a dynamic heterogeneous approachCalderon, Cesar; Moral-Benito, Enrique; Serven, Luis2011/06
WPS5529Saving and growth in EgyptHevia, Constantino; Loayza, Norman2011/01
WPS5500How large is the government spending multiplier ? evidence from World Bank lendingKraay, Aart2010/12
WPS5418What explains aid project success in post-conflict situations ?Chauvet, Lisa; Collier, Paul; Duponchel, Marguerite2010/09
WPS5393Why are developing countries so slow in adopting new technologies ? the aggregate and complementary impact of micro distortionsBergoeing, Raphael; Loayza, Norman V.; Piguillem, Facundo2010/08
WPS5317Infrastructure in Latin America - Working PaperCalderon, Cesar; Serven, Luis2010/05
WPS5226Productivity, welfare and reallocation : theory and firm-level evidenceBasu, Susanto; Pascali, Luigi; Schiantarelli, Fabio; Serven, Luis2010/03
WPS5250Undervaluation through foreign reserve accumulation : static losses, dynamic gainsKorinek, Anton; Serven, Luis2010/03
WPS5177Infrastructure and economic growth in EgyptLoayza,Norman V.; Odawara,Rei2010/01
WPS5085Creative destruction and policy reforms : changing productivity effects of firm turnover in Moroccan manufacturingHallward-Driemeier, Mary; Thompson, Fraser2009/10
WPS5084Who survives ? the impact of corruption, competition and property rights across firmsHallward-Driemeier, Mary2009/10
WPS5032Big constraints to small firms' growth ? business environment and employment growth across firmsAterido, Reyes; Hallward-Driemeier, Mary; Pages, Carmen2009/08
WPS5012Too poor to growLopez, Humberto; Serven, Luis2009/08
WPS5002The growth aftermath of natural disastersFomby, Thomas; Ikeda, Yuki; Loayza, Norman2009/07
WPS4980Natural disasters and growth - going beyond the averagesLoayza, Norman; Olaberria, Eduardo; Rigolini, Jamele; Christiaensen, Luc2009/06
WPS4888Informality in Latin America and the CaribbeanLoayza, Norman V.; Serven, Luis; Sugawara, Naotaka2009/03
WPS4872Multilateral debt relief through the eyes of financial marketsRaddatz, Claudio2009/03
WPS4712Infrastructure and economic development in Sub-Saharan AfricaCalderon, Cesar; Serven, Luis2008/09
WPS4692Political violence and economic growthBodea, Cristina; Elbadawi, Ibrahim A.2008/08
WPS4636Real exchange rates, saving and growth : is there a link ?Montiel, Peter J.; Serven, Luis2008/05
WPS4525Credit chains and sectoral comovemen t: does the use of trade credit amplify sectoral shocks ?Raddatz, Claudio2008/02
WPS4487Fiscal redistribution and income inequality in Latin AmericaGoni, Edwin; Lopez, J. Humberto; Serven, Luis2008/01
WPS4382Fiscal rules, public investment, and growthServen, Luis2007/11
WPS4158Walking up the down escalator : public investment and fiscal stabilityEasterly, William; Irwin, Timothy; Serven, Luis2007/03
WPS4077The composition of growth matters for poverty alleviationLoayza, Norman V.; Raddatz, Claudio2006/12
WPS3963Financial development in Latin America : big emerging issues, limited policy answersde la Torre, Augusto; Gozzi, Juan Carlos; Schmukler, Sergio L.2006/07
WPS3814A normal relationship ? Poverty, growth, and inequalityLopez, Humberto; Serven, Luis2006/01
WPS3815Getting real about inequality : evidence from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and PeruGoni, Edwin; Lopez, Humberto; Serven, Luis2006/01
WPS3733Does openness imply greater exposure ?Calderon, Cesar; Loayza, Norman; Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus2005/10
WPS3680Are external shocks responsible for the instability of output in low income countries?Raddatz, Claudio2005/08
WPS3631Poverty traps, aid, and growthKraay, Aart; Raddatz, Claudio2005/06
WPS3623The impact of regulation on growth and informality - cross-country evidenceLoayza, Norman V.; Oviedo, Ana Maria; Serven, Luis2005/05
WPS3469Regulation and macroeconomic performanceLoayza, Norman V.; Oviedo, Ana Maria; Serven, Luis2005/01
WPS3479Why should we care about child labor? The education, labor market, and health consequences of child laborBeegle, Kathleen; Dehejia, Rajeev; Gatti, Roberta2005/01
WPS3456Macroeconomic stability in developing countries - How much is enough?Montiel, Peter; Serven, Luis2004/11
WPS3431Financial development, financial fragility, and growthLoayza, Norman; Ranciere, Romain2004/10
WPS3400The effects of infrastructure development on growth and income distributionCalderon, Cesar; Serven, Luis2004/09
WPS3401Trends in infrastructure in Latin America, 1980-2001Calderon, Cesar; Serven, Luis2004/09
WPS3371On the measurement of market-oriented reformsLoayza, Norman V.; Soto, Raimundo2004/08
WPS3320Country PortfoliosKraay, Aart; Loayza, Norman; Serven, Luis; Ventura, Jaume2004/06
WPS3316Homeownership, community interactions, and segregationHoff, Karla; Sen, Arijit2004/05
WPS3225When is growth pro-poor? Cross-country evidenceKraay, Aart2004/03
WPS3121Do bilateral investment treaties attract foreign direct investment? Only a bit - and they could biteMary Hallward-Driemeier2003/08
WPS3060World market integration through the lens of foreign direct investorsAlbuquerque, Rui; Loayza, Norman; Serven, Luis2003/05
WPS3075Child labor, income shocks, and access to creditDehejia, Rajeev H. ; Beegle, Kathleen ; Gatti, Roberta2003/05
WPS3004Institutions, trade, and growth : revisiting the evidenceDollar, David; Kraay, Aart2003/03
27162The limits of stabilization : infrastructure, public deficits, and growth in Latin AmericaEasterly, William [editor]; Serven, Luis [editor]2003/01
WPS2928Growth without governanceKaufmann, Daniel; Kraay, Aart2002/11
28018Walk before you run: governance and public sector reforms in poverty reduction strategiesShah, Shekhar2002/08
WPS2767Child labor : the role of income variability and access to credit in a cross-section of countriesDehejia, Rajeev H.; Gatti, Roberta2002/01
27057Openness, firms, and competitionMary Hallward-Driemeier2001/06
WPS2482Can institutions resolve ethnic conflict ?Easterly, William2000/11
21716The World Bank economic review 14 (3)Loayza, Norman; Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus; Serven, Luis; Elbadawi, Ibrahim A.; Mwega, Francis M.; Denizer, Cevdet; Wolf, Holger C.; Montiel, Peter J.; Rodrik, Dani; Aron, Janine; Muellbauer, John; Kraay, Aart; Shankar, Rashmi; Beck, Thorsten; Demirguc-Kunt, Asl'; Levine, Ross2000/09
20655Securing our future in a global economyDe Ferranti, David; Perry, Guillermo E.; Gill, Indermit S.; Serven, Luis; Ferreira, Francisco H.G.; Ilahi, Nadeem; Maloney, William F.; Rama, Martin2000/06
WPS2309What drives private saving around the world?Loayza, Norman; Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus; Serven, Luis2000/03
WPS2224Growth forecasts using time series and growth modelsKraay, Aart; Monokroussos, George1999/11
WPS2139Small states, small problems?Easterly, William; Kraay, Aart1999/06
WPS2109When is fiscal adjustment an illusion?Easterly, William1999/05
WPS2057Finance and the sources of growthBeck, Thorsten; Levine, Ross; Loayza, Norman1999/02
WPS2059Financial intermediation and growth : Causality and causesLevine, Ross; Loayza, Norman; Beck, Thorsten1999/02
WPS2050Measuring aid flows : a new approachChang, Charles C.; Fernandez-Arias, Eduardo; Serven, Luis1999/02
WPS2035Macroeconomic uncertainty and private investment in developing countries - an empirical investigationServen, Luis1998/12
WPS1829Economic reform and progress in Latin America and the CaribbeanLoayza, Norman; Palacios, Luisa1997/09
WPS1727The economics of the informal sector : a simple model and some empirical evidence from Latin AmericaLoayza, Norman A.1997/02
WPS1722Uncertainty, instability, and irreversible investment : theory, evidence, and lessons for AfricaServen, Luis1997/02
WPS1708Has Latin America's post-reform growth been disappointing?Easterly, William; Loayza, Norman; Montiel, Peter1997/01
WDP354Saving across the world : puzzles and policiesSchmidt-Hebbel, Klaus; Serven, Luis1997/01
WPS1690Stock markets, banks, and economic growthLevine, Ross; Zervos, Sara1996/12
WPS1678Financial development and economic growth : views and agendaLevine, Ross1996/10
WPS1613Does public capital crowd out private capital? : evidence from IndiaServen, Luis1996/05
15407The World Bank research observer 11 (1)Squire, Lyn; Alderman, Harold; Lavy, Victor; Behrman, Jere R.; Demery, Lionel; Corbo, Vittorio; Hernández, Leonardo; Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus; Servén, Luis; Solimano, Andrés; Mody, Asboka; Patro, Dilip K.; Sewell, David 0.1996/02
WPS1577The peace dividend : military spending cuts and economic growthKnight, Malcolm; Loayza, Norman; Villanueva, Delano1996/02
WPS1561Income inequality and aggregate saving : the cross-country evidenceSchmidt-Hebbel, Klaus; Serven, Luis1996/01
WPS1549The forgotten rationale for policy reform : the productivity of investment projectsIsham, Jonathan; Kaufmann,Daniel1995/11
WPS1517Inflation crises and long-run growthBruno, Michael; Easterly, William1995/09
WPS1472Fiscal and monetary contraction in Chile : a rational-expectations approachSchmidt-Hebbel, Klaus; Serven, Luis1995/06
WPS1424Terms-of-trade shocks and optimal investment : another look at the Laursen-Metzler effectServen, Luis1995/02
WPS1382Saving, investment, and growth in developing countries : an overviewSchmidt-Hebbel, Klaus; Serven, Luis; Solimano, Andres1994/11
WPS1300Dynamic response to external shocks in classical and Keynesian economiesSchmidt-Hebbel, Klaus; Serven, Luis; DEC1994/05
WPS1299Fiscal policy in classical and Keynesian open economiesSchmidt-Hebbel, Klaus; Serven, Luis1994/05
12530Striving for growth after adjustment : the role of capital formationServen, Luis; Solimano, Andres [editors]1993/10
17519The World Bank research observer 7 (1)Ravallion, Martin; Hamilton, Carl B.; de Melo, Jaime; Winters, L. Alan; Kiguel, Miguel A.; Liviatan, Nissan; Lindauer, David L.; Velenchik, Ann D.; Myers, Robert J.; Serven, Luis; Solimano, Andres1992/01
WPS709An empirical macroeconomic model for policy design : the case of ChileServen, Luis; Solimano, Andres1991/06
WPS339Private investment and macroeconomic adjustment : an overviewServen, Luis; Solimano, Andres1989/12

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