Making Inferences About Rich Country - Poor Country Convergence: The Polarization Trapezoid and Overlap measures
Underlying the unresolved debate over whether the gap between rich and poor country GNP per capita has narrowed is a concern for wellbeing. The issue is really about the changing shapes of distributions of wellbeing indicators. As limiting cases con- vergence between rich and poor country groups can be brought about by countries within groups becoming less alike without any diminution of growth rate differentials between them or it can be brought about by reductions in these differentials without any diminution of within group identity. In essence the debate is about the extent to which rich and poor countries are polarizing, a subject first theoretically explored by Esteban and Ray (1994). The empirical issue is about whether separate groups can be identified in the overall distribution and whether they are tending toward common or distinct equilibria. This paper proposes two simple statistics for the problem, the Overlap measure and the Trapezoidal measure, changes in which reflect a combination of increasing (decreasing) subgroup location differences and decreasing (increasing) subgroup spreads which are the characteristics of polarization (convergence). The former statistic is of use when the sub-distributions are identified, while the latter can be used whether or not the subgroups are identified. These techniques are applied to the examination of convergence in GDP per capita between rich and poor nations when growth is viewed either as a wellbeing index or a technology index (i.e. the data are, or are not, population weighted). It turns out that such a distinction matters, viewed technologically there is divergence, viewed in a wellbeing sense there is convergence. As a collection of countries Africa is diverging from the rest of the world whatever the perspective of growth.
|Date of creation:||14 Jan 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 150 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario|
Phone: (416) 978-5283
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.:
- Gordon Anderson & Oliver Linton & Yoon-Jae Wang, 2009.
"Non Parametric Estimation of a Polarization Measure,"
tecipa-363, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
- Gordon Anderson & Oliver Linton & Yoon-Jae Whang, 2009. "Nonparametric Estimation of a Polarization Measure," STICERD - Econometrics Paper Series 534, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Whang, Yoon-Jae & Oliver, Linton & Anderson, Gordon, 2009. "Nonparametric estimation of a polarization measure," UC3M Working papers. Economics we095130, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
- Gordon Anderson & Oliver Linton & Yoon-Jae Whang, 2009. "Nonparametric estimation of a polarization measure," CeMMAP working papers CWP14/09, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Gordon Anderson & Oliver Linton & Yoon-Jae Whang, 2009. "Nonparametric Estimation of a Polarization Measure," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1714, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Gordon Anderson & Oliver Linton & Yoon-Jae Whang, 2009. "Nonparametric estimation of a polarization measure," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25378, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Johnson, Paul A., 2000.
"A nonparametric analysis of income convergence across the US states,"
Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 219-223, November.
- Johnson, Paul, 1999. "A Nonparametric Analysis of Income Convergence Across the US States," Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series 46, Vassar College Department of Economics.
- James Foster & Michael Wolfson, 2010. "Polarization and the decline of the middle class: Canada and the U.S," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 8(2), pages 247-273, June.
- Jean-Yves Duclos & Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2003.
"Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation,"
46, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 1991.
"On the Measurement of Polarization,"
Boston University - Institute for Economic Development
18, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- Esteban, J. & Ray, D., 1993. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 221.93, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Esteban, J.M. & Ray, D., 1992. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 171.92, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Decancq, Koen & Decoster, André & Schokkaert, Erik, 2009.
"The Evolution of World Inequality in Well-being,"
Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 11-25, January.
- DECANCK, Koen & DECOSTER, André & SCHOOKAERT, Erik, . "The evolution of world inequality in well-being," CORE Discussion Papers RP 2140, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Koen Decancq & André Decoster & Erik Schokkaert, 2007. "The evolution of World inequality in Well-being," Working Papers Department of Economics ces0704, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
- Nazrul Islam, 2003. "What have We Learnt from the Convergence Debate?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 309-362, 07.
- Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005.
"The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 277-291, March.
- Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2003. "The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality," NBER Working Papers 9765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Roberto Zelli & Maria Grazia Pittau, 2006. "Empirical evidence of income dynamics across EU regions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(5), pages 605-628.
- Sudhir Anand & Paul Segal, 2008. "What Do We Know about Global Income Inequality?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 57-94, March.
- Charles I. Jones, 1997.
"On the Evolution of the World Income Distribution,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 19-36, Summer.
- Paul Beaudry & Fabrice Collard & David A. Green, 2005. "Changes in the World Distribution of Output Per Worker, 1960-1998: How a Standard Decomposition Tells an Unorthodox Story," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 741-753, November.
- Bianchi, Marco, 1997. "Testing for Convergence: Evidence from Non-parametric Multimodality Tests," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(4), pages 393-409, July-Aug..
- Quah, Danny T, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 27-59, March.
- Paapaa, Richard & van Dijk, Herman K., 1998. "Distribution and mobility of wealth of nations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1269-1293, July.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-387. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (RePEc Maintainer)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.