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Divergence, Big Time

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  • Lant Pritchett

Abstract

Historical data are unnecessary to demonstrate that perhaps the basic fact of modern economic history is massive absolute divergence in per capita income across countries. A plausible lower bound on per capita income can be combined with estimates of its current level in the poorer countries to place an upper bound on long-run income growth. Between 1870 and 1990, the ratio of richest to poorest countries' income increased from roughly 9 to 1 to 45 to 1, the standard deviation of (natural log) per capita income doubled, and the average income gap between the richest and all other countries grew nearly tenfold from $1,286 to $12,000.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.11.3.3
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 11 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 3-17

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:11:y:1997:i:3:p:3-17

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.11.3.3
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  1. ¿Argie crisis es anagrama de crisis griega?
    by Lucas Llach in La ciencia maldita on 2010-04-28 16:27:56
  2. ¿Argie crisis es anagrama de crisis griega?
    by Lucas Llach in La ciencia maldita on 2010-04-28 16:27:56
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