Nonlinear Growth and the Productivity Slowdown
In this paper we study the productivity slowdown taking as a starting point the nonlinear shape of the growth path. We relate the slowdown to the evolution of the world income distribution in the periods before and after the oil shock of 1973 and show that: i) in both periods growth is nonlinear; ii) the productivity slowdown consists in a downward shift of the nonlinear growth path; iii) in both periods we observe a medium-run tendency to polarization, but the long-run distribution features convergence in the first period and polarization in the second. We provide theoretical and empirical arguments suggesting that the interaction between nonlinear growth and international technology spillovers can explain how a temporary shock may have permanent effects on world growth.
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