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East Asia and Pacific

Microfoundations of Economic Growth

Raj Nallari's picture

Most growth analysis has been primarily a macroeconomic subject with particular emphasis on contribution of capital, education adjusted labor, and total factor productivity to output growth (see Collins and Bosworth 1996, Hu and Khan, 1997, Sarel 1997, Sala-i-Martin 2000, Hall and Jones, 1999, Easterly and Levine 2001). Importance of macroeconomic policies as represented by budget deficits, exchange rate premia, inflation, trade openness and inflow of foreign Investment etc are tagged on in the growth analysis at a macroeconomic level. A few studies have invoked ethnic differences and other exogenous factors to understand cross country differences in total productivity growth and per capita incomes. 

In trying to understand the rapid output growth of East Asian ‘miracle’ countries, Krugman (1994), Young (1995), and others were engaged in an interesting debate on whether capital accumulation or total factor productivity growth best explained the high and sustained output growth of these countries. Their conclusion that capital accumulation was most important was based on macroeconomic data analysis in a factors of production approach to sources of growth. Others have found that the growth of output is strongly correlated with productivity growth in developed and developing economies as reported by Kehoe and Prescott (2002) and Solimano and Soto (2004), and this co-movement appears to be stronger the longer is the time period considered.

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