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The new era of unconditional convergence

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  • Patel, Dev
  • Sandefur, Justin
  • Subramanian, Arvind

Abstract

The central fact that has motivated the empirics of economic growth—namely unconditional divergence—is no longer true and has not been so for decades. Across a range of data sources, poorer countries have in fact been catching up with richer ones, albeit slowly, since the mid-1990s. This new era of convergence does not stem primarily from growth moderation in the rich world but rather from accelerating growth in the developing world, which has simultaneously become remarkably less volatile and more persistent. Debates about a “middle-income trap” also appear anachronistic: middle-income countries have exhibited higher growth rates than all others since the mid-1980s.

Suggested Citation

  • Patel, Dev & Sandefur, Justin & Subramanian, Arvind, 2021. "The new era of unconditional convergence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:152:y:2021:i:c:s030438782100064x
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2021.102687
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    Cited by:

    1. Vanessa Hartmann & Konstantin M. Wacker, 2023. "Poverty decompositions with counterfactual income and inequality dynamics," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 1746-1768, August.
    2. Adarov, Amat & Guénette, Justin Damien & Ohnsorge, Franziska, 2022. "Another legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic: Income divergence," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 842-854.
    3. Parello, Carmelo Pierpaolo, 2022. "In Defence of the Endogenous Growth Theory: "Conditional" and "Unconditional" Convergence in Two-Country AK Models," MPRA Paper 115092, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Mountford, Andrew, 2022. "Economic Growth Analysis When Balanced Growth Paths May Be Time Varying," MPRA Paper 114249, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Michael Kremer & Jack Willis & Yang You, 2021. "Converging to Convergence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2021, volume 36, pages 337-412, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Ikhenaode, Bright Isaac & Parello, Carmelo Pierpaolo, 2022. "Migration, technology diffusion and convergence in a two-country AK Growth Model," MPRA Paper 115340, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Fabio Ascione & Maria Enrica Virgillito, 2023. "Vertical integration and patterns of divergence in European industries: A long-term input-output analysis," LEM Papers Series 2023/25, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    8. Ly Dai Hung, 2021. "Economic Convergence With Safe Assets," Working Papers hal-03662832, HAL.
    9. Leone Leonida, 2024. "Visualizing Convergence Dynamics across Regions and States: h -Convergence," Mathematics, MDPI, vol. 12(2), pages 1-17, January.
    10. Rivadeneira Alex, 2023. "Unconditional Convergence in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector (1988-2018)," Working Papers 2023-06, Banco de México.
    11. Jesús Crespo Cuaresma & Stephan Klasen & Konstantin M. Wacker, 2022. "When Do We See Poverty Convergence?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 84(6), pages 1283-1301, December.
    12. Cui, Wenyue & Tang, Jie, 2023. "Innovation convergence clubs and their driving factors within urban agglomeration," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 121(C).
    13. Karina Acosta & Jaime Bonet-Morón, 2022. "Convergencia regional en Colombia en el Siglo XXI," Documentos de trabajo sobre Economía Regional y Urbana 308, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    14. Petrović, Pavle & Gligorić Matić, Mirjana, 2023. "Manufacturing productivity in the EU: Why have Central and Eastern European countries converged and Southern EU countries have not?," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 166-183.
    15. Koopman, Eline & Wacker, Konstantin M., 2023. "Drivers of growth accelerations: What role for capital accumulation?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 169(C).
    16. Vicente German‐Soto & Konstantin Gluschenko, 2023. "Long‐term regional convergence in Mexico: A new look," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 963-991, May.
    17. Rohini Pande & Nils Enevoldsen, 2021. "Comment on "Converging to Convergence"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2021, volume 36, pages 413-424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Leone Leonida, 2023. "What Have We Not Learned from the Convergence Debate?," Mathematics, MDPI, vol. 11(9), pages 1-22, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Growth; Convergence; Middle-income trap; Persistence; Solow model; Volatility;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative

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