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Middle-Income Traps: A Conceptual and Empirical Survey

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  • Fernando Gabriel Im

    () (World Bank, 1818 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20433, USA)

  • David Rosenblatt

    () (World Bank, 1818 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20433, USA)

Abstract

The term "middle-income trap" has entered common parlance in the development policy community, despite the lack of a precise definition. This paper discusses in more detail the definitional issues associated with the term. It also provides evidence on whether the growth performance of middle-income countries (MICs) has been different from other income categories, including historical transition phases in the inter-country distribution of income. A transition matrix analysis and an exploration of cross-country growth patterns provide little support for the existence of a middle-income trap.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernando Gabriel Im & David Rosenblatt, 2015. "Middle-Income Traps: A Conceptual and Empirical Survey," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 6(03), pages 1-39.
  • Handle: RePEc:wsi:jicepx:v:06:y:2015:i:03:n:s1793993315500131
    DOI: 10.1142/S1793993315500131
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic growth; convergence; middle income countries; D30; E00; F02; F60; N10; O11; O40;

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F60 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - General
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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