The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
We investigate the issue of model uncertainty in cross-country growth regressions using Bayesian model averaging (BMA). We find that the posterior probability is distributed among many models, suggesting the superiority of BMA over any single model. Out-of-sample predictive results support that claim. In contrast with Levine and Renelt (1992), our results broadly support the more “optimistic” conclusion of Sala-i-Martin (1997b), namely, that some variables are important regressors for explaining cross-country growth patterns. However, the variables we identify as most useful for growth regression differ substantially from Sala-i-Martin’s results.