Teaching Convergence: A Contribution
The issue of convergence has been hotly debated since the mid 1980s. Only recently certain consensus has arisen around some of the most fundamental issues. It seems hardly surprising, then, to find a large variation in how those issues are taught to undergraduates. This paper is an attempt at clarifying the different concepts of convergence, and their relation to both the neoclassical model of growth and available cross-country evidence. Evidence on some of the contradictory ways in which the issues are taught is provided, a simple way to teach the relevant concepts of convergence by means of numerical examples is presented, and relevant examples drawn from historical evidence are shown. Also, the implications of the neoclassical growth model are presented in a slightly different, but clearer way, and some of the difficulties to interpret the cross-country empirical evidence are reviewed.
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