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What Remains of Cross-Country Convergence?

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  • Paul Johnson
  • Chris Papageorgiou

Abstract

We examine the record of cross-country growth over the past fifty years and ask if developing countries have made progress on closing the income gap between their per capita incomes and those in the advanced economies. We conclude that, as a group, they have not and then survey the literature on absolute convergence with particular emphasis on that from the last decade or so. That literature supports our conclusion of a lack of progress in closing the income gap between countries. We close with a brief examination of the recent literature on cross-individual distribution of income, which finds that despite the lack of progress on cross country convergence, global inequality has tended to fall since 2000.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Johnson & Chris Papageorgiou, 2020. "What Remains of Cross-Country Convergence?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 58(1), pages 129-175, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:58:y:2020:i:1:p:129-75
    DOI: 10.1257/jel.20181207
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    JEL classification:

    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F62 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Macroeconomic Impacts
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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