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2. Variable multidecadal growth rates. As is evident for the eight countries in figure 2 and as can also be seen by curves for individual countries in figure 1, growth rates for individual countries have substantial long-run variability. Pritchett (2000) characterized this variability as episodic growth, which led Hausmann, Pritchett, and Rodrik (2005), Jones and Olken (2008), and others to develop empirical models of discrete transitions, or breaks, across growth regimes. As seen in table 1a, this variability of long-run growth rates is evident in both developed economies (witness the long-run growth slowdown in the United States over the past two decades) and non-OECD countries.00

Table 1.

Selected Summary Statistics

a. Mean growth rates of GDP per capita over 30-year periods (annual percentage growth rates)
1901–19301931–19601961–19901991–2017
United States 1.4 2.2 2.5 1.5 
OECD 1.2 2.0 2.9 1.4 
Non-OECD 1.4 1.8 2.1 3.0 
all 1.3 1.9 2.1 1.9 
a. Mean growth rates of GDP per capita over 30-year periods (annual percentage growth rates)
1901–19301931–19601961–19901991–2017
United States 1.4 2.2 2.5 1.5 
OECD 1.2 2.0 2.9 1.4 
Non-OECD 1.4 1.8 2.1 3.0 
all 1.3 1.9 2.1 1.9 

b. Cross-sectional distribution of yi,t in selected years (logarithm of GDP per capita)
Cross-section Interquantile range:
Average value of yi,t overmedianstandard deviation75%-25%90%-10%
1950–1954 7.8 1.0 1.5 2.5 
1971–1975 8.3 1.1 1.8 2.9 
1992–1996 8.6 1.3 2.0 3.5 
2013–2017 9.3 1.2 2.1 3.3 
b. Cross-sectional distribution of yi,t in selected years (logarithm of GDP per capita)
Cross-section Interquantile range:
Average value of yi,t overmedianstandard deviation75%-25%90%-10%
1950–1954 7.8 1.0 1.5 2.5 
1971–1975 8.3 1.1 1.8 2.9 
1992–1996 8.6 1.3 2.0 3.5 
2013–2017 9.3 1.2 2.1 3.3 

c. Averages of yi,t over 29-year periods: Fraction of countries of moving from growth quartile i (1960–1988) to quartile j (1989–2017)
Quartile in 1989–2017
1234
Quartile 1960–1988 0.79 0.21 
 0.21 0.68 0.11 
 0.11 0.71 0.18 
 0.18 0.82 
c. Averages of yi,t over 29-year periods: Fraction of countries of moving from growth quartile i (1960–1988) to quartile j (1989–2017)
Quartile in 1989–2017
1234
Quartile 1960–1988 0.79 0.21 
 0.21 0.68 0.11 
 0.11 0.71 0.18 
 0.18 0.82 

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