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Testing the Neoclassical Theory of Economic Growth: A Panel Data Approach

Malcolm Knight, Norman V. Loayza, and Delano Villanueva
Pub. Date: September 1, 1993

International Monetary Fund Staff Papers, v40, n3: 512-541.

Recent empirical studies have examined the determinants of economic growth using country-average (cross-sectional) data. By contrast, this paper employs a technique for using a panel of cross-sectional and time series data for 98 countries over the 1960-85 period to determine the quantitative importance for economic growth of both country-specific and time-varying factors such as human capital, public investment, and outward-oriented trade policies. The empirical results support the view that these factors exert a positive and significant influence on growth. They also provide estimates of the speed at which the gap between the real per capita incomes of rich and poor countries is likely to be reduced over the longer term.

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