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Wirtschaftswissenschaftlicher Fachbereich - Jahrgang 2008



A contribution to the determinants of total factor productivity growth


Marc Schiffbauer




Why do some countries grow and others stagnate? The Science magazine considers this question as one of the 125 "most compelling puzzles and questions facing scientists today'' (Science magazine (2005)). Indeed, the successful identification of key policies that foster economic growth and development makes it possible to implement optimal growth strategies that could cut world poverty, affect income inequalities across countries, and improve the standards of living of individuals.
While the importance to identify the key determinants of economic growth and development is obvious, a unified theory that matches empirical facts is still missing. Instead, the emergence of endogenous growth theory since the early 90s induced a vast strand of literature covering numerous potential determinants of economic growth ranging from macroeconomic policies over trade and industrial policies to deep-seated institutional factors, and initial conditions. Clearly, policymakers have direct control over some of these factors, but only limited (long-term) or no control over others. Consequently, it appears that we need to take some care in isolating growth-enhancing strategies. Nevertheless, recent advances in development accounting are pointing the way for future research. Caselli (2005) concludes that fluctuations in factor accumulation (labor, physical and human capital) account only for 1/3 of the fluctuations of income across countries. Thus, the bulk of international income differences is due to variations in the residual measure which is labelled total factor productivity (TFP). It follows that a successful growth theory needs to explain international differences in aggregate TFP-growth? In the following, I provide three supplementary approaches that contribute to the explanation of differences in TFP-growth across countries and over time. more...

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© Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn | Veröffentlicht: 2008