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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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  1. 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.
  2. Jordan Rappaport, 1999. "How does labor mobility affect income convergence?," Research Working Paper 99-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  3. 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.
  4. Steven N. Durlauf & Danny T. Quah, 1998. "The New Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 6422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Barro, R.J. & Sala-I-Martin, X., 1991. "Convergence Across States and Regions," Papers 629, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  6. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hansen, B.E., 1991. "Inference when a Nuisance Parameter is Not Identified Under the Null Hypothesis," RCER Working Papers 296, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  8. Robert J. Barro & Paul Romer, 1993. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr93-1, October.
    • Robert J. Barro & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr91-1, October.
  9. 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.
  10. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1963. "On the Concept of Optimal Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 163, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. 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.
  12. Alberto F. Ades & Edward L. Glaeser, 1994. "Evidence on Growth, Increasing Returns and the Extent of the Market," NBER Working Papers 4714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Francesco Caselli & Gerardo Esquivel & Fernando Lefort, 1997. "Reopening the Convergence Debate: A New Look at Cross-Country Growth Empirics," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 03, Central Bank of Chile.
  15. Jordan Rappaport, 2000. "How does openness to capital flows affect growth?," Research Working Paper RWP 00-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  16. 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.
  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. Paul Evans, 1997. "How Fast Do Economies Converge?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 219-225, May.
  19. Kremer, Michael & Thomson, James, 1998. " Why Isn't Convergence Instantaneous? Young Workers, Old Workers, and Gradual Adjustment," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 5-28, March.
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