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 the levels of per capita income and product? The authors use the neoclassical growth model as a framework to study convergence across the forty-eight contiguous U.S. states. They exploit data on personal income since 1840 and on gross state product since 1963. The U.S. states provide clear evidence of convergence, but the findings can be reconciled quantitatively with the neoclassical model only if diminishing returns to capital set in very slowly. Copyright 1992 by University of Chicago Press.
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