Perché la produttività degli investimenti varia tra paesi? (Why does the productivity of investment vary across countries?)


  • Kevin S. Nell Sapienza University of Rome
  • A.P. Thirlwall


Parole chiave:

‘New growth theory’, investment, productivity of investment, cross-country growth regressions


Nelle equazioni della "nuova teoria della crescita" che includono il rapporto di investimento, tutte le altre variabili incluse sono determinanti della produttività dell'investimento.Convertiamo una equazione della "nuova teoria della crescita" in una produttività dell'equazione degli investimenti dividendo l'equazione attraverso il rapporto di investimento.Prendiamo un campione di 84 paesi sviluppati e in via di sviluppo nel periodo 1980-2011 e esaminiamo l'importanza di 19 variabili potenziali che potrebbero influire sulla produttività dell'investimento, utilizzando un algoritmo di selezione del modello da generale a specifico.L'istruzione, la crescita delle esportazioni, la stabilità macroeconomica, i diritti politici, la geografia e le spese governative si rivelano le determinanti più importanti.Non vi sono prove di rendimenti decrescenti degli investimenti, quindi gli investimenti sono importanti per la crescita a lungo termine.

In ‘new growth theory’ equations that include the investment ratio, all other variables included are determinants of the productivity of investment. We convert a ‘new growth theory’ equation into a productivity of investment equation by dividing the equation through by the investment ratio. We take a sample of 84 developed and developing countries over the period 1980 to 2011, and examine the importance of 19 potential variables that might affect the productivity of investment, using a general-to-specific model selection algorithm. Education, export growth, macroeconomic stability, political rights, geography and government expenditure turn out to be the most important determinants. There is no evidence of diminishing returns to investment, so that investment matters for long run growth.


JEL codes:  011, 033, 047


Riferimenti bibliografici

Acemoglu D., Johnson S., Robinson J.A. (2001), “The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation”, American Economic Review, vol. 91 n. 5, pp. 1369-1401.

Alesina A., Spolaore E., Wacziarg R. (2000), “Economic Integration and Political Disintegration”, American Economic Review, vol. 90 n. 5, pp. 1276-1296.

Atkinson A.B. (1969), “The Time Scale of Economic Models: How Long is the Long Run”, Review of Economic Studies, vol. 36 n. 2, pp. 137-152.

Barro R.J. (1991), “Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 106 n. 2, pp. 407-443.

Barro R.J. (1998), The Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study, Cambridge (MA) and London: MIT Press.

Barro R.J., Lee J.W. (2013), “A New Data Set of Educational Attainment in the World, 1950-2010”, Journal of Development Economics, vol. 104 n. 3, pp. 184-198.

Beck T., Demirgüç-Kunt A., Levine R. (2000), “A New Data Base on the Structure and Development of the Financial Sector”, World Bank Economic Review, vol. 14 n. 3, pp. 597-605.

Benhabib J., Spiegel M.M. (1994), “The Role of Human Capital in Economic Development: Evidence from Aggregate Cross-Country Data”, Journal of Monetary Economics, vol. 34 n. 2, pp. 143-173.

Bond S., Leblebicioglu A., Schiantarelli F. (2010), “Capital Accumulation and Growth: A New Look at the Empirical Evidence”, Journal of Applied Econometrics, vol. 25 n. 7, pp. 1073-1099.

Bourguignon F. (2015), The Globalization of Inequality, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Caselli F., Feyrer J. (2007), “The Marginal Product of Capital”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 122 n. 2, pp. 535-568.

Doornik J.A., Hendry D.F. (2013), Empirical Econometric Modelling Using PcGive 14, vol. 1, London: Timberlake Consultants.

Dray M., Thirlwall A.P. (2011), “The Endogeneity of the Natural Rate of Growth for a Selection of Asian Countries”, Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, vol. 33 n. 3, pp. 451-468.

Fernández C., Ley E., Steel M.F.J. (2001), “Model Uncertainty in Cross-Country Growth Regressions”, Journal of Applied Econometrics, vol. 16 n. 5, pp. 563-576.

Gallup J.L., Sachs J.D., Mellinger A.D. (1999), “Geography and Economic Development”, International Regional Science Review, vol. 22 n. 2, pp. 179-232.

Gastil R.D. (ed.) (1981), Freedom in the World: Political Rights and Civil Liberties, Westport (CT): Greenwood Press.

Hall R.E., Jones C. (1999), “Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 114 n. 1, pp. 83-116.

Harrod R.F. (1939), “An Essay in Dynamic Theory”, Economic Journal, vol. 49 n. 193, pp. 14-33.

Hendry D.F. (1995), Dynamic Econometrics, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hendry D.F., Krolzig H.-M. (2004), “We Ran One Regression”, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, vol. 66 n. 5, pp. 799-810.

Hoover K.D., Perez S.J. (2004), “Truth and Robustness in Cross-Country Growth Regressions”, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, vol. 66 n. 5, pp. 765-798.

Kaldor N. (1957), “A Model of Economic Growth”, Economic Journal, vol. 67 n. 268, pp. 591-264.

Kaldor N. (1961), “Capital Accumulation and Economic Growth”, in Lutz F.A., Hague D.C. (eds.), The Theory of Capital, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 177-222.

Kaldor N. (1972), “Advanced Technology in a Strategy for Development: Some Lessons from Britain’s Experience”, in ILO (ed.), Automation in Developing Countries, Geneva: International Labour Office.

Keynes J.M. (1923), A Tract on Monetary Reform, London: Macmillan.

King R.G., Levine R. (1993), “Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 108 n. 3, pp. 717-737.

Krolzig H.-M., Hendry D.F. (2001), “Computer Automation of General to Specific Model Selection Procedures”, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, vol. 25 nn. 6-7, pp. 831-866.

Lanzafame, M. (2014), “The Balance of Payments Constrained Growth Rate and the Natural Rate of Growth: New Empirical Evidence”, Cambridge Journal of Economics, vol. 38 n.4, pp. 817-838.

Leamer E.E. (1983), “Let’s Take the Con Out of Econometrics”, American Economic Review, vol. 73 n. 1, pp. 31-43.

Leamer E.E. (1985), “Sensitivity Analyses Would Help”, American Economic Review, vol. 75 n. 3, pp. 308-313.

Leibenstein H. (1966), “Incremental Capital-Output Ratios and Growth Rates in the Short Run”, Review of Economics and Statistics, vol. 48 n. 1, pp. 20-27.

León-Ledesma M., Thirlwall A.P. (2000), “Is the Natural Rate of Growth Exogenous?”, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, vol. 53 n. 215, pp. 433-445.

León-Ledesma M., Thirlwall A.P. (2002), “The Endogeneity of the Natural Rate of Growth”, Cambridge Journal of Economics, vol. 26 n. 4, pp. 441-459.

Levine R. (1997), “Financial Development and Economic Growth: Views and Agenda”, Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 35 n. 2, pp. 688-726.

Levine R., Renelt D. (1992), “A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions”, American Economic Review, vol. 82 n. 4, pp. 942-963.

Libanio G. (2009), “Aggregate Demand and the Natural Rate of Growth: Evidence from Latin American Countries”, Cambridge Journal of Economics, vol. 33 n. 5, pp. 967-984.

Lucas R. Jr. (1988), “On the Mechanics of Economic Development”, Journal of Monetary Economics, vol. 22 n. 1, pp. 3-42.

Mankiw N.G., Romer D., Weil D.N. (1992), “A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 107 n. 2, pp. 407-37.

Milanovic B. (2016), Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization, Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.

Nell K.S., Thirlwall A.P. (2017a), “Why does the productivity of investment vary across countries?”, PSL Quarterly Review, vol. 70 n. 282, pp.253-285.

Nell K.S., Thirlwall A.P. (2017b), “Explaining Differences in the Productivity of Investment Across Countries in the Context of ‘New Growth Theory’”, International Review of Applied Economics, forthcoming. DOI: 10.1080 /02692171.2017.1333089

Owen P.D. (2003), “General-to-Specific Modelling Using PcGets”, Journal of Economic Surveys, vol. 17 n. 4, pp. 609-628.

Rodrik D., Subramanian A., Trebbi F. (2004), “Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development”, Journal of Economic Growth, vol. 9 n. 2, pp. 131-165.

Romer P. (1986), “Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth”, Journal of Political Economy, vol. 94 n. 5, pp. 1002-1037.

Sachs J.D., Warner A., Åslund A., Fischer S. (1995), “Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration”, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, vol. 1995 n. 1, pp. 1-118.

Sala-I-Martin X. (1997), “I Just Ran Two Million Regressions”, American Economic Review, vol. 87 n. 2, pp. 178-183.

Sato K. (1966), “On the Adjustment Time in Neoclassical Growth Models”, Review of Economic Studies, vol. 33 n. 3, pp. 263-268.

Shaw E. (1973), Financial Deepening in Economic Development, London and New York: Oxford University Press.

Solow R.M. (1956), “A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 70 n. 1, pp. 65-94.

Swan T. (1956), “Economic Growth and Capital Accumulation”, Economic Record, vol. 32 n. 2, pp. 334-361.

Thirlwall A.P. (2011), “Balance of Payments Constrained Growth Models: History and Overview”, PSL Quarterly Review, vol. 64 n. 259, pp. 307-351.

Vogel L. (2009), “The Endogeneity of the Natural Rate of Growth: An Empirical Study for Latin American Economies”, International Review of Applied Economics, vol. 23 n. 1, pp. 41-53.

World Bank (2008), The Growth Report: Strategies for Sustained Growth and Inclusive Development, Washington (DC): World Bank.

World Bank (2012), World Development Indicators 2012 (WBDI), Washington (DC): World Bank, available at: /10986/6014.