This paper proposes an explicit test for determining the significance and the timing of slowdowns in economic growth. We examine a large sample of countries and find that a majority—though not all—exhibit a significant structural break in their postwar growth rates. We find that (a) most industrialized countries experienced postwar growth slowdowns in the early 1970s, though (b) the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom did not, and (c) developing countries (and in particular, Latin American countries) tended to experience much more severe slowdowns which, in contrast with the more developed countries, began nearly a decade later.

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