Growth econometrics

Document Type

Working Paper



Publication Date


Department or Program

Economics Department


This paper provides a survey and synthesis of econometric tools that have been employed to study economic growth. While these tools range across a variety of statistical methods, they are united in the common goals of first, identifying interesting contemporaneous patterns in growth data and second, drawing inferences on long-run economic outcomes from cross-section and temporal variation in growth. We describe the main stylized facts that have motivated the development of growth econometrics, the major statistical tools that have been employed to provide structural explanations for these facts, and the primary statistical issues that arise in the study of growth data. An important aspect of the survey is attention to the limits that exist in drawing conclusions from growth data, limits that reflect model uncertainty and the general weakness of available data relative to the sorts of questions for which they are employed.

N.B.: This working paper is the preprint for:

"Growth Econometrics," 2005, Paul Johnson, Steven Durlauf, and Jonathan Temple, Handbook of Economic Growth, edited by P. Aghion and S.N. Durlauf, North-Holland: Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1574-0684(05)01008-7