Determinants of Economic Growth

From Lionel Robbins Lectures

Determinants of Economic Growth

A Cross-Country Empirical Study

By Robert J. Barro





Research on economic growth has exploded in the past decade. Hundreds of empirical studies on economic growth across countries have highlighted the correlation between growth and a variety of variables. Determinants of Economic Growth, based on Robert Barro's Lionel Robbins Memorial Lectures, delivered at the London School of Economics in February 1996, summarizes this important literature.

The book contains three essays. The first is a survey of the research on the determinants of long-run growth through the estimation of panels of cross-country data. The second essay details the interplay between growth and political freedom or democracy and finds some evidence of a nonlinear relationship. At low levels of political rights, an expansion of rights stimulates growth; however, once a moderate level of democracy has been obtained, a further expansion of rights reduces growth. The final essay looks at the connection between inflation and economic growth. Its basic finding is that higher inflation goes along with a lower rate of economic growth.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262024211 160 pp. | 5.375 in x 8 in


$30.00 X ISBN: 9780262522540 160 pp. | 5.375 in x 8 in


  • Robert Barro has done a pathbreaking empirical work to pin down the determinants of growth. These lectures make that work available to a wide audience.

    Allan H. Meltzer

    University Professor of Political Economy and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

  • I think that this is an excellent summary of the empirical research on growth, which started with Professor Barro's own seminal 1991 paper. The literature has become so vast that it is now worth putting all these results together in a single book.

    Xaviaer Sala-i-Martin

    Professor of Economics, Columbia University and Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  • Robert Barro is the leading researcher in the influential empirical growth literature that emerged during the past decade. This book is a masterly summary of this literature which will be required reading for any serious growth student. As in Barro's other work, the analysis is focused around the role of convergence. However, there are also new ideas, including forecasts of growth rates until the end of this century, and an extended discussion of the interplay between political regimes and growth. I have no doubts that this book will become a standard reference in courses on Macroeconomics and Growth Theory, and will be an important source of ideas for researchers, investors, and policy makers, alike.

    Sergio Rebelo

    Professor of Economics, Rochester University

  • Professor Barro has been right in the vanguard of the recent empirical literature on economic growth and development. In this little book he provides fascinating new evidence on the interplay between democracy and economic development, and of the impact of inflation on growth, as well as reviewing the evidence on convergence. In all respects a tour-de-force.

    Charles Bean

    Professor, London School of Economics