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As of June 2009

This page lists books and articles that are a good introduction to theory and/or evidence on economic growth. A more complete list of books on growth is also available.

The best places to start, for those new to the field, are probably the recent books by Aghion and Howitt, Easterly, Helpman, Jones, and Weil. Another very good introduction to growth theory is provided by Solow (2000). Deeper, more technical presentations of growth models can be found in the books by Acemoglu (2009), Aghion and Durlauf (2005), Aghion and Howitt (1998) and Barro and Sala-i-Martin (2004). Empirical work is surveyed by Durlauf, Johnson and Temple (2005), Durlauf and Quah (1999), McGrattan and Schmitz (1999) and Temple (1999), the last being the least technical of these. Keely and Quah (1998) examine the role of technology in growth.

Short introductions to a variety of topics can be found in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, online edition.


Aghion, Philippe and Howitt, Peter (2009). The Economics of Growth. MIT Press, Cambridge.


Acemoglu, Daron (2008). Introduction to Modern Economic Growth Princeton University Press, Princeton.


Understanding growth – a special issue of the IMF’s Finance & Development magazine, from March 2006


Aghion, Philippe and Durlauf, Steven N. (2005). Handbook of Economic Growth. North-Holland: Amsterdam.

Durlauf, Steven N., Johnson, Paul A., and Temple, Jonathan R. W. (2005). Growth econometrics In P. Aghion and S. N. Durlauf (eds.) Handbook of Economic Growth, Volume 1A, North-Holland: Amsterdam, 2005, pp. 555-677.

Weil, David N. (2005). Economic growth Pearson, Addison Wesley.


Barro, Robert J. and Sala-i-Martin, Xavier (2004). Economic growth (Second edition). Boston: MIT Press.

George, Donald A. R., Oxley, Les and Carlaw, Kenneth I. (2004). Surveys in economic growth: theory and empirics Oxford: Blackwell. This volume collects articles from a special issue of the Journal of Economic Surveys.

Helpman, Elhanan (2004). The mystery of economic growth. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.


Rogers, Mark (2003). Knowledge, Technological Catch-up and Economic Growth. Edward Elgar.


Easterly, William (2001). The elusive quest for growth: economists’ adventures and misadventures in the tropics. MIT Press, Cambridge.

Easterly, William and Levine, Ross (2001). It’s not factor accumulation: stylized facts and growth models. World Bank Economic Review, 15(2), 177-219.

Kenny, Charles and David Williams (2001) What Do Economists Know About Economic Growth ? Or Why Don’t They Know Very Much? World Development, 29(1).

Romer, David (2001). Advanced Macroeconomics. McGraw-Hill.

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