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  • Barro, Robert J.
  • Sala-i-Martin, Xavier

A key economic issue is whether poor countries or regions tend to grow faster than rich ones: are there automatic forces that lead to convergence over time in the levels of per capita income and product? We use the neoclassical growth model as a framework to study convergence across the 48 contiguous U.S. states. We exploit data on personal income since 1840 and on gross state product since 1963. The U.S. states provide clear evidence of convergence, but the findings can be reconciled quantitatively with the neoclassical model only if diminishing returns to capital set in very slowly. The results for per capita gross domestic product from a broad sample of countries are similar if we hold constant a set of variables that proxy for differences in steady-state characteristics.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3451299.

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Date of creation: 1992
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Political Economy -Chicago-
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3451299
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  1. Sergio Rebelo, 1999. "Long Run Policy Analysis and Long Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2114, David K. Levine.
  2. 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.
  3. Daniel Cohen & Jeffrey Sachs, 1985. "Growth and External Debt Under Risk of Debt Repudiation," NBER Working Papers 1703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Barro, R.J. & Sala-I-Martin, X., 1991. "Convergence Across States and Regions," Papers 629, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  5. Maddison, Angus, 1987. "Growth and Slowdown in Advanced Capitalist Economies: Techniques of Quantitative Assessment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 649-98, June.
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