We review the growth experience of middle-income countries. Economic factors associated with growth appear to differ between middle income and other countries. The efficiency of the financial system is importantly related to the growth rate in low- and middle-income countries, but appears to matter less as one moves up the income scale. 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.
crisis growth middle income total factor productivity