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The Productivity of Convergence Debate: A Theoretical and Methodological Reconsideration

  • Bruce Elmslie

    (The Jerome Levy Economics Institute)

  • William Milberg

    (The Jerome Levy Economics Institute)

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    While the debate over whether and why convergence between national productivity rates between countries over time has occurred is a lively one, the discussion has largely ignored two issues: the development of a generalized theoretical model of cross-country growth patterns that could explain convergence or divergence, and disregard of alternative, well-established methodologies to measure convergence in favor of the mainstream, neoclassical model, which is argued to have problems with respect to the "operationalization of the concept of capital." Elmslie and Milberg attempt to remedy the situation by first providing an examination of the convergence debate based on an input-output analysis, and then employing an historical/institutionalist framework to explain the current wide disparities in the rates of convergence found between two countries—Japan and Portugal—that had, at one point in time, been on a similar convergence paths but that experienced two different futures.

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    Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 9904008.

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    Length: 59 pages
    Date of creation: 15 Apr 1999
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:9904008
    Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 59; figures: included
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