This paper discusses the history of the use of cross-country regressions in modern growth economics. These regressions continue to be the workhorse of empirical growth analysis even though their meaning continues to be controversial. I argue that the early interpretations of these regressions have proven to be inappropriate and led to substantial exaggeration of the evidentiary support for various new growth theories. On the other hand, I argue that these regressions have a valuable role to play in identifying the modern analog of stylized facts for growth behavior.

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