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The Empirical Economic Growth Literature

Raymond Florax, Henri de Groot () and Reinout Heijungs ()
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Reinout Heijungs: Leiden University

No 02-040/3, Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers from Tinbergen Institute

Abstract: The empirical economic growth literature is criticized for its lack ofrobustness. For different definitions of robustness, conclusions vary from 'almost everycorrelation is fragile' to 'a substantial number of explanatory variables are robust.' Were-analyze the empirical results of the economic growth literature for various alternativedefinitions of robustness using quasi-experiments. The analysis pertains to sign, size andsignificance of the effects, and we relax the quasi-experimental procedure by no longerapplying a set of 'fixed' variables. Response surface analyses of the quasi-experimentsreveal that the number of robust variables is limited, the effects crucially depend on thespecification of conditioning variables, and the default specification based on theconvergence/catch-up model is associated with estimated effects of conditioning variablesthat constitute outliers.

Keywords: economic growth; sensitivity analysis; robustness; response surface. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C52 C90 O11 O40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2002-04-22, Revised 2003-10-31
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