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Economic Growth and Convergence across The United States

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  • Robert J. Barro
  • Xavier Sala-i-Martin

Abstract

A key economic issue is whether poor countries or regions tend to grow faster than rich ones: are there automatic forces that lead to convergence over time in levels of per capita income and product? After considering predictions of closed- and open-economy neoclassical growth theories, we examine data since 1840 from the U.S. states. We find clear evidence of convergence, but the findings can be reconciled quantitatively with neoclassical models only if diminishing returns to capital set in very slowly. The results from a broad sample of countries are similar if we hold constant a set of variables that proxy for differences in steady-state characteristics. Two types of existing theories seem to fit the facts: the neoclassical growth model with broadly-defined capital and a limited role for diminishing returns, and endogenous growth models with constant returns and gradual diffusion of technology across economies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3419.

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Date of creation: Aug 1990
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Publication status: Published as "Unanticipated Money, Output, and the Price Level in the United States", Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 86, no. 4 (1978): 549- 580.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3419

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  1. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. J. Bradford De Long, . "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Comment," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _129, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
  3. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  5. Jorgenson, Dale W & Yun, Kun-Young, 1990. "Tax Reform and U.S. Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S151-93, October.
  6. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
  7. Maddison, Angus, 1987. "Growth and Slowdown in Advanced Capitalist Economies: Techniques of Quantitative Assessment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 649-98, June.
  8. Jorgenson, Dale W & Yun, Kun-Young, 1986. " Tax Policy and Capital Allocation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(2), pages 355-77.
  9. King, Robert G & Rebelo, Sergio T, 1993. "Transitional Dynamics and Economic Growth in the Neoclassical Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 908-31, September.
  10. Baumol, William J, 1986. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: What the Long-run Data Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1072-85, December.
  11. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1963. "On the Concept of Optimal Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 163, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  12. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1988. "A New Set of International Comparisons of Real Product and Price Levels Estimates for 130 Countries, 1950-1985," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(1), pages 1-25, March.
  13. Richard R. Nelson & Edmond S. Phelps, 1965. "Investment in Humans, Technological Diffusion and Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 189, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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  1. Divergencia regional en México
    by in Tiempo Económico on 2012-04-12 14:21:47
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