The World Income Distribution
We show that even in the absence of diminishing returns in production and techno-logical spillovers, international trade leads to a stable world income distribution. This is because specialization and trade introduce de facto diminishing returns: countries that accumulate capital faster than average experience declining export prices, depressing the rate of return to capital and discouraging further accumulation. Because of constant re-turns to capital accumulation from a global perspective time-series behavior of the world economy is similar to that of existing endogenous growth models, with the world growth rate determined by policies, savings and technologies. Because of diminishing returns to capital accumulation at the country level, the cross-sectional behavior of the world economy is similar to that of existing exogenous growth models: cross-country variation in economic policies, savings and technology translate into cross-country variation in incomes, and country dynamics exhibit conditional convergence as in the Solow-Ramsey model. The dispersion of the world income distribution is determined by the forces that shape the strength of the terms of trade effects the degree of openness to international trade and the extent of specialization. Finally, we provide evidence that countries accumulating faster experience a worsening in their terms of trade. Our estimates imply that, all else equal, a 1 percentage point faster growth is associated with approximately a 0.7 percentage point decline in the terms of trade.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2001|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Acemoglu, Daron and Jaume Ventura. "The World Income Distribution," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2002, v107(2,May), 659-694.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1998.
660, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Daron Acemoglu & Fabrizio Zilbotti, 1999. "Productivity Differences," NBER Working Papers 6879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Acemoglu, D. & Zilibotti, F., 1998. "Productivity Differences," Papers 660, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2000. "Productivity Differences," CEPR Discussion Papers 2498, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Robert J. Barro, 1998.
"Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study,"
MIT Press Books,
The MIT Press,
edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522543, June.
- Robert J. Barro, 1996. "Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study," NBER Working Papers 5698, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
- David Hummels & James Levinsohn, 1993.
"Monopolistic Competition and International Trade: Reconsidering the Evidence,"
NBER Working Papers
4389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hummels, David & Levinsohn, James, 1995. "Monopolistic Competition and International Trade: Reconsidering the Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 799-836, August.
- Hummels, D. & Levinsohn, J., 1993. "Monopolistic Competition and International Trade: Reconsidering the Evidence," Working Papers 339, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
- N. Gregory Mankiw, 1995.
"The Growth of Nations,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1732, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1982. "Towards an Explanation of National Price Levels," NBER Working Papers 1034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Charles I. Jones, .
"On the Evolution of the World Income Distribution,"
97009, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
- Elhanan Helpman & David T. Coe, 1993. "International RandD Spillovers," IMF Working Papers 93/84, International Monetary Fund.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8083. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.