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The Mirage of Convergence: Why Poor Countries May Only Seem to Be Closing the Income Gap

Author

Listed:
  • Jan Hanousek
  • Dana Hajkova
  • Randall K. Filer

Abstract

Results of numerous cross-country growth regressions have been found to be sensitive to specification, time period or sample coverage. Several authors have observed that results may depend on the source and data collection methods for right-hand side variables. In this paper we suggest that a more fundamental problem may exist with respect to the growth rates used in the majority of studies. Differences in measured growth rates are severe across widely-used sources. More critically, these differences are correlated with countries’ level of development. As an illustration, we show that the results of two recent studies depend critically on which data set is used to derive the growth measure.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Hanousek & Dana Hajkova & Randall K. Filer, 2004. "The Mirage of Convergence: Why Poor Countries May Only Seem to Be Closing the Income Gap," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp222, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp222
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Knowles, Stephen, 2001. "Are the Penn World Tables data on government consumption and investment being misused?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 293-298, May.
    2. Yanikkaya, Halit, 2003. "Trade openness and economic growth: a cross-country empirical investigation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 57-89, October.
    3. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    4. Andrea Brandolini & Anthony B. Atkinson, 2001. "Promise and Pitfalls in the Use of "Secondary" Data-Sets: Income Inequality in OECD Countries As a Case Study," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 771-799, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alexandr Cerny & Randall K. Filer, 2007. "Natural Resources: Are They Really a Curse?," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp321, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Growth; Measurement; Developing Economies.;

    JEL classification:

    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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