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Middle-income traps : a conceptual and empirical survey

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  • Im, Fernando Gabriel
  • Rosenblatt, David

Abstract

In recent years, the term"middle-income trap"has entered common parlance in the development policy community. The term itself often has not been precisely defined in the incipient literature. This paper discusses in more detail definitional issues on the so-called middle-income trap. The paper presents evidence in terms of both absolute and relative thresholds. To get a better understanding of whether the performance of the middle-income trap has been different from other income categories, the paper examines historical transition phases in the inter-country distribution of income based on previous work in the literature. Transition matrix analysis provides little support for the idea of a middle-income trap. Analysis of cross-country patterns of growth provides additional support for the conclusions in the paper, which closes with a general discussion of potential policy implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Im, Fernando Gabriel & Rosenblatt, David, 2013. "Middle-income traps : a conceptual and empirical survey," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6594, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6594
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Middle-income traps : a conceptual and empirical survey
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2013-10-15 18:21:36
    2. Les pays émergents sont-ils promis à une trappe à revenu intermédiaire ?
      by ? in D'un champ l'autre on 2014-12-09 01:27:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Eduardo Fernández-Arias & Charles Sabel & Ernesto H. Stein & Alberto Trejos, 2016. "Two to Tango: Public-Private Collaboration for Productive Development Policies," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 94716, February.
    2. Han , Xuehui & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2015. "Re-examining the Middle-Income Trap Hypothesis: What to Reject and What to Revive?," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 436, Asian Development Bank.
    3. repec:bla:apacel:v:31:y:2017:i:2:p:19-29 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Su, Dan & Yao, Yang, 2016. "Manufacturing as the Key Engine of Economic Growth for Middle-Income Economies," ADBI Working Papers 573, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    5. repec:wsi:jicepx:v:06:y:2015:i:03:n:s1793993315500179 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:oup:cjrecs:v:10:y:2017:i:1:p:35-57. is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:nea:journl:y:2017:i:34:p:94-122 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Pierre-Richard AGENOR, 2016. "Caught in the Middle? The Economics of Middle-Income Traps," Working Papers P142, FERDI.
    9. Bartosz Michalski, 2014. "Umiedzynarodowienie sektora mid-tech na przykladzie wymiany handlowej sektora samochodowego w Polsce w latach 2004-2012 / Internationalisation of the mid-tech sector. The case of Polish trade in the a," International Economics, University of Lodz, Faculty of Economics and Sociology, issue 6, pages 63-80, June.
    10. Wang, Lili & Wen, Yi, 2018. "Escaping the Middle-Income Trap: A Cross-Country Analysis on the Patterns of Industrial Upgrading," Working Papers 2018-1, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 01 Jan 2018.
    11. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Canuto, Otaviano & Jelenic, Michael, 2014. "Access to Finance, Product Innovation, and Middle-Income Growth Traps," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 137, pages 1-7, March.
    12. 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.
    13. repec:bla:jecsur:v:31:y:2017:i:3:p:771-791 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. John M. Luiz, 2016. "The Political Economy of Middle-Income Traps: Is South Africa in a Long-Run Growth Trap? The Path to “Bounded Populism”," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 84(1), pages 3-19, March.
    15. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2015. "Leaders and followers: Perspectives on the Nordic model and the economics of innovation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 3-16.
    16. Pierre-Richard Agénor, 2017. "Caught In The Middle? The Economics Of Middle-Income Traps," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 771-791, July.
    17. Bulman, David & Eden, Maya & Nguyen, Ha, 2017. "Transitioning from Low-Income Growth to High-Income Growth: Is there a Middle-Income Trap?," ADBI Working Papers 646, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    18. repec:voj:journl:v:64:y:2017:i:3:p:371-381 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Nabeshima, Kaoru & Ito, Tadashi & Tanaka, Kiyoyasu & Kashcheeva, Mila & Bullon, David & Sanchez, Natalia, 2015. "The source of sustainable growth in Costa Rica," IDE Discussion Papers 500, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    20. Fantom,Neil James & Serajuddin,Umar, 2016. "The World Bank's classification of countries by income," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7528, The World Bank.
    21. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Canuto, Otaviano, 2017. "Access to finance, product innovation and middle-income traps," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 337-355.
    22. Gill,Indermit S. & Kharas,Homi, 2015. "The middle-income trap turns ten," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7403, The World Bank.
    23. Eduardo Fernández-Arias & Charles Sabel & Ernesto H. Stein & Alberto Trejos, . "Two to Tango: Public-Private Collaboration for Productive Development Policies," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 7694, April.
    24. Eric Rougier & Riana Razafimandimby Andrianjaka, 2017. "What difference does it make (when a middle-income country is caught in the trap)? An evidence-based survey analysis of the determinants of Middle-Income Traps," Cahiers du GREThA 2017-16, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    25. Nabeshima, Kaoru & Kang, Byeongwoo & Kashcheeva, Mila, 2016. "Descriptive analysis of the knowledge network formation in East Asia," IDE Discussion Papers 558, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Conditions and Volatility; Economic Theory&Research; Income; Inequality; Poverty Impact Evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F60 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - General
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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