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Is the speed of convergence constant?

  • Jordan Rappaport

Empirical attempts to measure the speed of convergence -- the rate at which a country's per capita income approaches its steady state relative to its distance from its steady state -- have started from the assumption that it is constant. In contrast, neoclassical models of capital accumulation usually predict that the speed of convergence decreases as income approaches its steady state. Estimating a flexible functional form which allows the speed of convergence to vary suggests that the speed of convergence actually increases as income approaches its steady state. An increasing speed of convergence calls into question structural interpretations of coefficients on conditioning variables in cross-sectional growth regressions. Instead, excluding initial income from cross-sectional growth regressions allows coefficients on exogenous variables to be interpreted as measuring changes in underlying structural relationships.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its series Research Working Paper with number RWP 00-10.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp00-10
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  4. Paul Evans, 1997. "How Fast Do Economies Converge?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 219-225, May.
  5. Jordan Rappaport, 2000. "How does openness to capital flows affect growth?," Research Working Paper RWP 00-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
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  9. Rappaport, Jordan, 2005. "How does labor mobility affect income convergence?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 567-581, March.
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  12. Caselli, Francesco & Esquivel, Gerardo & Lefort, Fernando, 1996. " Reopening the Convergence Debate: A New Look at Cross-Country Growth Empirics," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 363-89, September.
  13. Kevin Lee & M. Hashem Pesaran & Ron Smith, 1998. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach- A Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 319-323, February.
  14. Robert B. Davies, 2002. "Hypothesis testing when a nuisance parameter is present only under the alternative: Linear model case," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 89(2), pages 484-489, June.
  15. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1994. "Cross-sectional regressions and the empirics of economic growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 739-747, April.
  16. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 943, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  17. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
  18. David E. Bloom & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1998. "Geography, Demography, and Economic Growth in Africa," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 207-296.
  19. Eicher, Theo S & Turnovsky, Stephen J, 1999. " Convergence in a Two-Sector Nonscale Growth Model," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 413-28, December.
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