The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of empirical cross-country growth literature. The paper begins with describing the basic framework used in recent empirical cross-country growth research. Even though this literature was mainly inspired by endogenous growth theories, the neoclassical growth model is still the workhorse for cross-country growth empirics. The second part of the paper emphasises model uncertainty, which is indeed immense but generally neglected in the empirical cross-country growth literature. The most outstanding feature of the literature is that a large number of factors have been suggested as fundamental growth determinants. Together with the small sample property, this leads to an important problem: model uncertainty. The questions which factors are more fundamental in explaining growth dynamics and hence growth differences are still the subject of academic research. Recent attempts based on general-to-specific modeling or model averaging are promising but have their own limits. Finally, the paper highlights the implications of model uncertainty for policy evaluation.
Submitted as Survey and Overview