Review Article

Growth accounting, development accounting and cross-country growth regressions: A conceptual review essay

Chris W. Callaghan
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 18, No 1 | a1051 | DOI: | © 2022 Chris W. Callaghan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 March 2021 | Published: 19 December 2022

About the author(s)

Chris W. Callaghan, School of Business Sciences, Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; and School of Management, Faculty of Business and Law, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, United Kingdom


Background: This review article sets out to identify certain critiques of growth accounting, development accounting and cross-country growth regressions. These critiques provide insights relevant to the usefulness and policy relevance of these methods.

Aim: The aim of this article was to critically review literature and to provide a synthesis of this literature, deriving certain arguments to contribute to further research.

Method: This article takes the form of a critical review essay.

Results: Growth accounting, development accounting and cross-country growth regressions all have some limitations and knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses may be helpful for those who are undertaking transdisciplinary social science research using these methods. These methods seem to suffer from similar criticisms levelled at neoclassical thinking, which need to be considered more seriously in the literature.

Conclusion: Further research should explore how such methods might complement each other to improve validity of research findings.


growth accounting; development accounting; cross-country growth regressions; research methodology; empirical research techniques.


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