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Absolute and Conditional Convergence: Its Speed for Selected Countries for 1961--2001


  • Somesh Kumar Mathur

    (Jamia Millia Islamia)


The study gives the theoretical justification for the per capita growth equations using Solovian model(1956) and its factor accumulation assumptions. The different forms of the per capita growth equation is used to test for 'absolute convergence' and 'conditional convergence' hypotheses and also work out the speed of absolute and conditional convergence for selected countries from 1961-2001.Only EU and East Asian countries together have shown uniform evidence of absolute convergence in all periods. While EU as a region has shown significant evidence of absolute convergence in two periods, 1961-2001 and 1970-2001, there is no convincing statistical evidence in favor of absolute convergence in the last two periods: 1980-2001 and 1990-2001. The speed of absolute convergence in the four periods range between 0.99-2.56 % p.a. (2% for the EU was worked out by Barro and Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1995, for European regions) for EU while it ranges between 0.57-1.16 % p.a. for the countries in East Asia and EU regions together. However, there is no evidence of convergence among the South Asian countries in all periods and some major CIS republics since 1966.There is however tendency for absolute convergence among countries of South Asia, East Asia and European Union together particularly after the 1980s. Conditional convergence is prevalent among almost all pairs of regions in our sample except East Asian and South Asian nations together. Speed of conditional convergence ranges from 0.2 % in an year to 22%.In the European nations, the speed of conditional convergence works out be nearly 20 % unlike the speed of absolute convergence which hovered around 2 %.Such results would mean that countries in Europe are converging very quickly to their own potential level of incomes per capita but not so quickly to a common potential level of income per capita.

Suggested Citation

  • Somesh Kumar Mathur, 2005. "Absolute and Conditional Convergence: Its Speed for Selected Countries for 1961--2001," Macroeconomics 0510023, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0510023 Note: Type of Document - pdf

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bernard, Andrew B. & Durlauf, Steven N., 1996. "Interpreting tests of the convergence hypothesis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1-2), pages 161-173.
    2. Bernard, Andrew B & Durlauf, Steven N, 1995. "Convergence in International Output," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 97-108, April-Jun.
    3. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
    4. Swan, Trevor W, 2002. "Economic Growth," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 78(243), pages 375-380, December.
    5. Baumol, William J & Wolff, Edward N, 1988. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1155-1159, December.
    6. 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 1072-1085, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Enkh-Amgalan BYAMBAJAV & Terukazu SURUGA, 2010. "Effects of Regional Income and Educational Differentials on Migration and Regional Convergence," GSICS Working Paper Series 23, Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University.
    2. Lawrence J. Gomes, 2015. "Worldwide Growth Convergence in the New Millennium: An Empirical Investigation," Eurasian Journal of Economics and Finance, Eurasian Publications, vol. 3(3), pages 17-24.

    More about this item


    Growth equation; absolute convergence; conditional convergence; speed of absolute and conditional convergence; elasticity of output with respect to capital; half life of convergence;

    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

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