Convergence of Human Development Levels
In: Proceedings of the Conference on Human and Economic Resources
Reducing regional disparities can be seen as one of the main conditions of sustainable development. The neoclassical convergence hypothesis states that regional or inter-country differences would be reduced by development. Almost all studies test the convergence hypothesis by using per capita income levels and find mixed results. However, convergence of development levels and living standards is more important for the sustainability of economic growth. This study aims to re-test the convergence hypothesis by employing two more indicators of development by the UNDP, namely health index and education index, in addition to per capita income levels. By using the beta convergence test, which controls if there is a tendency for per capital income to equalize across economies, convergence of development levels is tested among a panel of 177 countries. The empirical evidences from the cross-sectional analyses suggest the existence of a significant converging trend among the countries with respect to education levels and per capita income levels.
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