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Characterizing economic growth paths based on new structural change tests
Luís Catela Nunes
C22 - Time-Series Models
F43 - Economic Growth of Open Economies
O40 - General
One of the prevalent topics in the economic growth literature is the debate between neoclassical, semi-endogenous, and endogenous growth theories regarding the model that best describes the data. An important part of this discussion can be summarized in three mutually exclusive hypotheses: the \constant trend", the \level shift", and the \slope shift" hypotheses. In this paper we propose the characterization of a country's economic growth path according to these break hypotheses. We address the problem in two steps. First, the number and timing of trend breaks is determined using new structural change tests that are robust to the presence, or not, of unit roots, surpassing technical and methodological concerns of previous empirical studies. Second, conditional on the estimated number of breaks, break dates, and coefficients, a statistical framework is introduced to test for general linear restrictions on the coefficients of the suggested linear disjoint broken trend model. We further show how the aforementioned hypotheses, regarding the economic growth path, can be analysed by a test of linear restrictions on the parameters of the breaking trend model. We apply the methodology to historical per capita GDP for an extensive list of countries. The results support the three alternative hypotheses for different sets of countries.