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Neoclassical convergence versus technological catch-up: A contribution for reaching a consensus

  • Desdoigts, Alain

New macro empirical evidence is provided to assess the relative importance of object and idea gaps in explaining the world income distribution dynamics. Formal statistical hypothesis tests allow us to discriminate between two competing growthmodels: (i) the standard neoclassical growth model similar to that employed by Mankiw, Romer, and Weil (1992), (ii) an extension of the Nelson and Phelps' approach (1966) that emphasizes the importance of technology transfer in addition to factors accumulation. First, the latter model better characterizes international data at an aggregate level. It cannot be rejected as a null hypothesis and is significantly preferred to a standard neoclassical model. Second, robust to sample selection evidence suggests that the high social returns to investment in equipment (as opposed to structure) reflect technology transfer mediated through capital goods. Finally, technological catch-up mostly benefits socially advanced economies and largely contributes to the polarization of the world income distribution.

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Paper provided by Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes in its series SFB 373 Discussion Papers with number 2000,42.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:200042
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  1. Nehru, Vikram & Swanson, Eric & Dubey, Ashutosh, 1995. "A new database on human capital stock in developing and industrial countries: Sources, methodology, and results," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 379-401, April.
  2. Gordon Fisher & Michael McAleer, 1981. "Alternative Procedures and Associated Tests of Significance for Non-Nested Hypotheses," Working Papers 420, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  3. Fagerberg, Jan, 1994. "Technology and International Differences in Growth Rates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1147-75, September.
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