The Landscape of Economic Growth: Do Middle-Income Countries Differ?

Publication | August 2017

The efficiency of the financial system is related to the growth rate in low- and middle-income countries, but appears to matter less as one moves up the income scale.

A review of the growth experience of middle-income countries suggests that economic factors associated with growth appear to differ between middle income and other countries. Demographic variables also matter importantly in low-income countries. In middle-income countries, in contrast, measures of the financial system no longer appear to matter as importantly, as if inefficiencies in banking and financial systems are no longer as binding a constraint as at earlier stages of financial development; nor are demographic variables as important as before. At this point, other variables gain a growing role: these include whether the country experiences a banking or currency crisis, the extent of nonforeign direct investment capital inflows, and government debt as a share of gross domestic product.


  • Introduction
  • Data
  • Basic Results
  • Growth Accounting
  • Sectoral Comparisons
  • Crises and Growth
  • Conclusions

Additional Details

  • Economics
  • WPS178959-2
  • 2313-6537 (Print)
  • 2313-6545 (e-ISSN)

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