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Social indicators and productivity convergence in developing countries


  • Ingram, Gregory


Most of the analysis of convergence of productivity addresses some aspect of it in industrialized countries. This approach is broader in two respects. First, much of the data analyzed here deals with other measures of performance which are referred to collectively as social indicators. These indicators include indices of outcomes, such as life expectancy; indices of the availability of inputs, such as doctors per capita; and indices which could be labelled as inputs or outcomes, such as per capita caloric intake of food. Second, the universe of countries examined is large and includes 21 high income or industrialized countries and up to 88 developing countries. The years covered for each variable fall within the period, 1960 to 1985, with a few variables covering virtually the whole interval and some only a few years during this period. To briefly summarize the results of the analysis, the evidence does not indicate that there is convergence in productivity levels across the sample of countries analyzed. One basic conclusion from the analysis is that a given absolute or proportional increase in per capita GDP in very low income developing countries is generally associated with greater improvements in the social indicators that measure human welfare than in a similar increase in per capita GDP in middle income countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingram, Gregory, 1992. "Social indicators and productivity convergence in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 894, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:894

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dan Usher, 1973. "The Measurement of Economic Growth," Working Papers 145, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    2. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1991. "The Poor and the Social Sectors during a Period of Macroeconomic Adjustment: Empirical Evidence for Jamaica," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(2), pages 291-313, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Uzma Afzal, 2012. "Human Capital Convergence: Evidence from the Punjab," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 17(1), pages 45-61, Jan-June.
    2. Kenny, Charles, 2005. "Why Are We Worried About Income? Nearly Everything that Matters is Converging," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-19, January.


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