Why do some countries get richer while others remain poor? Research on economic growth and development has investigated this question for several decades.

There are many explanations for the persisting disparities in income per capita among countries in the world economy. Different fields of research focus on the relevance of different factors – ranging from physical capital, human capital, social capital, technology and innovation, natural resources, and international trade, to the quality of national institutions and policies. While all these factors certainly matter, it is far from clear how they interact with each other. The ‘mystery of economic growth’ has not been solved: it will continue to engage students, researchers and policymakers in the years to come.