Discussion paper

DP15417 Persistence – Myth and Mystery

Is long-term economic persistence a myth? In this survey, I examine what has been learned from the wave of articles examining the persistence of economic phenomena. The article clarifies some of the concepts, distinguishes different strands of the literature, and questions the validity of recent critiques of persistence papers. While challenges in the form of misattribution and p-hacking abound, this survey concludes that persistence is real, and that future research should focus on mechanisms and the conditions under which persistence breaks down.


Voth, H (2020), ‘DP15417 Persistence – Myth and Mystery‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 15417. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp15417