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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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    Cited by:

    1. Eduardo Fernández-Arias & Charles Sabel & Ernesto H. Stein & Alberto Trejos, 2016. "Two to Tango: Public-Private Collaboration for Productive Development Policies," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 94716, February.
    2. Bartosz Michalski, 2014. "Umiedzynarodowienie sektora mid-tech na przykladzie wymiany handlowej sektora samochodowego w Polsce w latach 2004-2012 / Internationalisation of the mid-tech sector. The case of Polish trade in the a," International Economics, University of Lodz, Faculty of Economics and Sociology, issue 6, pages 63-80, June.
    3. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2015. "Leaders and followers: Perspectives on the Nordic model and the economics of innovation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 3-16.
    4. Han , Xuehui & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2015. "Re-examining the Middle-Income Trap Hypothesis: What to Reject and What to Revive?," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 436, Asian Development Bank.
    5. Pierre-Richard AGENOR, 2016. "Caught in the Middle? The Economics of Middle-Income Traps," Working Papers P142, FERDI.
    6. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Canuto, Otaviano, 2017. "Access to finance, product innovation and middle-income traps," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 337-355.
    7. Gill,Indermit S. & Kharas,Homi, 2015. "The middle-income trap turns ten," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7403, The World Bank.
    8. Eduardo Fernández-Arias & Charles Sabel & Ernesto H. Stein & Alberto Trejos, . "Two to Tango: Public-Private Collaboration for Productive Development Policies," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 7694, January.
    9. Bulman, David & Eden, Maya & Nguyen, Ha, 2017. "Transitioning from Low-Income Growth to High-Income Growth: Is there a Middle-Income Trap?," ADBI Working Papers 646, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    10. repec:voj:journl:v:64:y:2017:i:3:p:371-381 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Canuto, Otaviano & Jelenic, Michael, 2014. "Access to Finance, Product Innovation, and Middle-Income Growth Traps," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 137, pages 1-7, March.
    12. Bulman, David & Eden, Maya & Nguyen, Ha, 2014. "Transitioning from low-income growth to high-income growth : is there a middle income trap ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7104, The World Bank.
    13. Nabeshima, Kaoru & Ito, Tadashi & Tanaka, Kiyoyasu & Kashcheeva, Mila & Bullon, David & Sanchez, Natalia, 2015. "The source of sustainable growth in Costa Rica," IDE Discussion Papers 500, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    14. repec:nea:journl:y:2017:i:34:p:94-122 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Pierre-Richard AGENOR, 2016. "Caught in the Middle? The Economics of Middle-Income Traps," Working Papers P142, FERDI.

    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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