The determinants of economic growth and development are hotly debated among economists. Financial crises and failed transition experiments have highlighted the fact that functioning institutions are fundamental to the goal of achieving economic growth. The growth literature has seen an abundance of empirical studies on the influence of institutions and the mechanisms by which institutions affect development.
Even minute increases in a country's growth rate can result in dramatic changes in living standards over just one generation. The benefits of growth, however, may not be shared equally. Some may gain less than others, and a fraction of the population may actually be disadvantaged. Recent economic research has found both positive and negative relationships between growth and inequality across nations. The questions raised by these results include: What is the impact on inequality of policies designed to foster growth?