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Income Convergence During The Disintegration Of The World Economy 1919-39

  • Branko Milanovic

Some economists have argued that the process of disintegration of the world economy between the two World Wars led to income divergence between the countries. This is in keeping with the view that economic integration leads to income convergence. The paper shows that the view that the period 1919-39 was associated with divergence of incomes among the rich countries is wrong. On the contrary, income convergence continued and even accelerated. Since the mid-19th century, rich countries’ incomes tended to converge in peacetime regardless of whether their economies were more or less integrated. This, in turn, implies that it may not be trade and capital and labor flows that matter for income convergence but some other, less easily observable, forces like diffusion of information and technology.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Economic History with number 0303002.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 29 Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpeh:0303002
Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on PostScript; pages: 35; figures: included
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