Empirics for Economic Growth and Convergence
AbstractThe convergence hypotehsis has genreated a huge empriical literature: this paper critically reviews some of the earlier key findings, clarifies their implications, and relates thme to more recent results. Particular attention is devoted to interpreting convergence empirics. The mian finding s are: (1) The much-heralded uniform 2% rate of convergence could arise for reasons unrelated to the dynamics of economic growth (2) Usual empirical analyses- cross section (conditional) convergence regressions, time series modelling, panel data analysis - can be misleading for understanding convergence; a model polarization in economic growth clarifies these difficulties. (3) The data, more revealingly modelled, show persistence and immobility across countries: some evidence supprots Baumol's ideal of "convergence clubs"; some evidence shows the poor getting poorer, and the rich richer, with the middle class vanishing. (4) Convergence, unambiguous up to sampling error, is observed across US states.
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Date of creation: Jul 1995
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