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Economic Growth and Convergence, Applied Especially to China

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  • Robert J. Barro

Abstract

From the perspective of conditional convergence, China’s GDP growth rate since 1990 has been surprisingly high. However, China cannot deviate forever from the global historical experience, and the per capita growth rate is likely to fall soon from around 8% per year to a range of 3 4%. China can be viewed as a middle-income convergence-success story, grouped with Costa Rica, Indonesia, Peru, Thailand, and Uruguay. Upper-income convergence successes comprise Chile, Hong Kong, Ireland, Malaysia, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. China’s transition from middle- to upper-income status should not be hindered by a middle-income trap, which seems not to exist. The cross-country dispersion of the log of per capita GDP shows no trend since 1870 for 25 countries with long-term data. This group excludes emerging-market countries such as China and India. For 34 countries with data since 1896, there is clear evidence of declining dispersion starting around 1980. This pattern reflects especially the incorporation of China and India into the world market economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Barro, 2016. "Economic Growth and Convergence, Applied Especially to China," NBER Working Papers 21872, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21872
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. De Long, J Bradford, 1988. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1138-1154, December.
    3. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2006. "The World Distribution of Income: Falling Poverty and … Convergence, Period," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 351-397.
    4. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
    5. Quah, Danny, 1993. " Galton's Fallacy and Tests of the Convergence Hypothesis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 427-443, December.
    6. Bulman, David & Eden, Maya & Nguyen, Ha, 2014. "Transitioning from low-income growth to high-income growth : is there a middle income trap ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7104, The World Bank.
    7. Baumol, William J, 1986. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: What the Long-run Data Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1072-1085, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Glawe, Linda & Wagner, Helmut, 2016. "China in the Middle-Income Trap?," MPRA Paper 73336, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. repec:bla:worlde:v:39:y:2016:i:12:p:1934-1946 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Metelli, Luca & Natoli, Filippo, 2017. "The effect of a Chinese slowdown on inflation in the euro area and the United States," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 16-22.
    4. repec:spt:apfiba:v:8:y:2018:i:5:f:8_5_1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:taf:jocebs:v:15:y:2017:i:3:p:269-287 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jong-Wha Lee, 2017. "China's economic growth and convergence," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(11), pages 2455-2474, November.
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:8:p:2615-:d:159992 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Sutirtha Roy & Martin Kessler & Arvind Subramanian, 2016. "Glimpsing the End of Economic History? Unconditional Convergence and the Missing Middle Income Trap," Working Papers id:11404, eSocialSciences.
    9. Guanghua Wan & Peter J. Morgan & Justin Yifu Lin & Guanghua Wan & Peter J. Morgan, 2016. "Factors Affecting the Outlook for Medium-term to Long-term Growth in China," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 24(5), pages 20-41, September.
    10. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:8:p:2800-:d:162439 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • 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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