IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Convergence clubs and subsistence economies


  • Ben-David, Dan


This paper focuses on one possible explanation for the empirical evidence of: (a) income convergence among the world’s poorest countries and among its wealthiest countries; and (b) income divergence among most of the remaining countries. The model incorporates the assumption of subsistence consumption into the neo-classical exogenous growth model – yielding outcomes that are consistent with the convergence-divergence empirical evidence. While subsistence consumption can lead to negative saving and disaccumulation of capital, it can also coincide with positive saving and accumulation of capital. The model predicts that the poorer the country, the lower its saving rate, a result that also appears to be borne out by the evidence provided here.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Ben-David, Dan, 1998. "Convergence clubs and subsistence economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 155-171, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:55:y:1998:i:1:p:155-171

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert Tamura, 1994. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 323-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Quah, Danny, 1993. "Empirical cross-section dynamics in economic growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 426-434, April.
    3. Ehrlich, Isaac & Lui, Francis T, 1991. "Intergenerational Trade, Longevity, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1029-1059, October.
    4. George J. Stigler, 1945. "The Cost of Subsistence," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 27(2), pages 303-314.
    5. Ben-David, Dan, 1994. "Convergence Clubs and Diverging Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 922, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Robert W. Fogel, 1994. "The Relevance of Malthus for the Study of Mortality Today: Long-Run Influences on Health, Mortality, Labor Force Participation, and Population Growth," NBER Historical Working Papers 0054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Costas Azariadis & Allan Drazen, 1990. "Threshold Externalities in Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 501-526.
    8. Rebelo, Sergio, 1992. "Growth in open economies," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 5-46, July.
    9. Tamura, Robert, 1996. "From decay to growth: A demographic transition to economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(6-7), pages 1237-1261.
    10. Coe, David T & Helpman, Elhanan & Hoffmaister, Alexander W, 1997. "North-South R&D Spillovers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 134-149, January.
    11. Brezis, Elise S & Krugman, Paul R & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1993. "Leapfrogging in International Competition: A Theory of Cycles in National Technological Leadership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1211-1219, December.
    12. Tamura, Robert, 1994. "Fertility, Human Capital and the Wealth of Families," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(4), pages 593-603, May.
    13. Paul M. Romer, 1994. "The Origins of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 3-22, Winter.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:55:y:1998:i:1:p:155-171. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.