‘Not Even Wrong’
Chapter 6: What does total factor productivity actually measure? Further observations on the Solow model
With the revival of interest in both growth theory and growth empirics since the 1980s, a number of economists have returned to the important question of why some countries are richer than others. A crucial development in applied work has been the availability of large databases that allow comparisons across countries to be carried out. While some researchers would claim that the profession has advanced and that it has provided useful answers to this question (Mankiw et al., 1992; Jones, 1998 ), others take the opposite view (Kenny and Williams, 2001; Easterly, 2001).As we saw in the last chapter, Solow’s (1956, 1957) seminal growth model is still generally viewed today as the starting point for almost all analyses of growth, notwithstanding the severe reservations raised in the last chapter. Even models that depart significantly from this model are often best understood through comparison with it.