IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Divergence, big time

  • Pritchett, Lant

Recently, much attention has been paid in the literature on economic growth to the phenomenon of"conditional convergence,"the tendencies of economies with lower-level incomes to grow faster, conditional on their rate of factor accumulation. The author documents that, regardless of conditional convergence, perhaps the basic fact of modern economic history is massive absolute divergence in the distribution of incomes across countries. Discussions of long-run convergence or divergence has been hindered by the lack of reliable historical estimates of per capita income for poor countries. The author shows that to draw reasonable inferences about whether incomes have converged or diverged does not require historical estimates of per capita income as a plausible lower limit for historical per capita incomes combined with estimates of current income in poor countries places a binding constraint on their historical growth rates. Finally, the author estimates that between 1870 and 1985 the ratio of incomes in the richest and poorest countries increased sixfold, the standard deviation of (natural log) per capita incomes increased by between 60 and 100 percent, and the average income gap between the richest and the poorest countries grew almost ninefold (from $1,500 to over $12,000).

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/1995/10/01/000009265_3961019150217/Rendered/PDF/multi0page.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1522.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 31 Oct 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1522
Contact details of provider: Postal:
1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433

Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Economic Convergence and Economic Policies," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1715, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lant Pritchett & Lawrence H. Summers, 1996. "Wealthier is Healthier," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 841-868.
  4. 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.
  5. Hanson, John II, 1988. "Third world incomes before World War I: Some comparisons," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 323-336, July.
  6. Hanson, John II, 1991. "Third world incomes before world war I: Further evidence," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 367-379, July.
  7. Easterly, William & Kremer, Michael & Pritchett, Lant & Summers, Lawrence H., 1993. "Good policy or good luck?: Country growth performance and temporary shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 459-483, December.
  8. Sala-i-Martin, X., 1994. "Regional Cohesion: Evidence and the Theories of Regional Growth and Convergence," Papers 716, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  9. J. Bradford De Long, . "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Comment," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _129, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
  10. Nuxoll, Daniel A, 1994. "Differences in Relative Prices and International Differences in Growth Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1423-36, December.
  11. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier X., 1996. "Regional cohesion: Evidence and theories of regional growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1325-1352, June.
  12. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
  13. Dan Ben-David & David H. Papell, 1998. "Slowdowns And Meltdowns: Postwar Growth Evidence From 74 Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 561-571, November.
  14. Quah, Danny, 1995. "Empirics for Economic Growth and Convergence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1140, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Dan Ben-David, 1993. "Equalizing Exchange: Trade Liberalization and Income Convergence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 653-679.
  16. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
  17. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav & van de Walle, Dominique, 1991. "Quantifying Absolute Poverty in the Developing World," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(4), pages 345-61, December.
  18. Canova, Fabio & Marcet, Albert, 1995. "The Poor Stay Poor: Non-Convergence Across Countries and Regions," CEPR Discussion Papers 1265, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. David Dollar & Edward N. Wolff, 1993. "Competitiveness, Convergence, and International Specialization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262041359, March.
  20. Caselli, Francesco & Esquivel, Gerardo & Lefort, Fernando, 1996. "Reopening the Convergence Debate: A New Look at Cross-Country Growth Empirics," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 363-89, September.
  21. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Population growth, factor accumulation, and productivity," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1567, The World Bank.
  22. Shaohua Chen & Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Is poverty increasing in the developing world?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1146, The World Bank.
  23. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Where has all the education gone?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1581, The World Bank.
  24. 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 1072-85, December.
  25. Danny Quah, 1995. "Empirics for Economic Growth and Convergence," CEP Discussion Papers dp0253, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  26. Loayza, Norman V. & DEC, 1994. "A test of the international convergence hypothesis using panel data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1333, The World Bank.
  27. Danny Quah, 1995. "Empirics for economic growth and convergence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2136, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1522. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.