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The Mystery of Economic Growth

The Mystery of Economic Growth

Elhanan Helpman

ISBN 9780674046054

Publication date: 05/01/2010

Far more than an intellectual puzzle for pundits, economists, and policymakers, economic growth--its makings and workings--is a subject that affects the well-being of billions of people around the globe. In The Mystery of Economic Growth, Elhanan Helpman discusses the vast research that has revolutionized understanding of this subject in recent years, and summarizes and explains its critical messages in clear, concise, and accessible terms.

The tale of growth economics, as Helpman tells it, is organized around a number of themes: the importance of the accumulation of physical and human capital; the effect of technological factors on the rate of this accumulation; the process of knowledge creation and its influence on productivity; the interdependence of the growth rates of different countries; and, finally, the role of economic and political institutions in encouraging accumulation, innovation, and change.

One of the leading researchers of economic growth, Helpman succinctly reviews, critiques, and integrates current research--on capital accumulation, education, productivity, trade, inequality, geography, and institutions--and clarifies its relevance for global economic inequities. In particular, he points to institutions--including property rights protection, legal systems, customs, and political systems--as the key to the mystery of economic growth. Solving this mystery could lead to policies capable of setting the poorest countries on the path toward sustained growth of per capita income and all that that implies--and Helpman's work is a welcome and necessary step in this direction.

Praise

  • Professor Helpman's analytic powers and extraordinary grasp of the subject make his book, The Mystery of Economic Growth, the most comprehensive analysis of economic growth to date. The wide variety of relevant issues, from technological development through price and income causes and consequences to institutional changes are made available to the scholar and the interested general reader. The evaluations of different strands are judicious and wise, as well as highly representative of the literature.

    —Kenneth Arrow, Nobel Laureate in Economics

Author

  • Elhanan Helpman is the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade at Harvard University.

Book Details

  • 240 pages
  • 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Belknap Press

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