NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Convergence and Growth Linkages Between North and South

John F. Helliwell, Alan Chung

NBER Working Paper No. 3948
Issued in January 1992
NBER Program(s):   EFG

Using cross-sectional data for 98 countries for 1960-85, this paper shows that growth of per capita GDP depends negatively on initial income levels, as implied by the convergence hypothesis, as well as on international differences in investment rates in physical and human capital. There is some evidence of slight economies of scale (1.06) among the industrial countries. The evidence in favor of the convergence hypothesis is strongest for the countries of the OECD and Latin America, and weakest for Asia. Growth in Latin America and Africa is lower than elsewhere even after allowing for international differences in initial income levels, scale, schooling and capital investment. Analysis of Solow residuals for the OECD countries (for which capital stock data are available) shows convergence in rates of technical progress, suggesting that convergence of per capita GDPs is not Just a function of differences in investment rates. The linkage between per capita GDP and the real exchange rate is found to be strong for the OECD and Asia, weak for Africa and negative for Latin America.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w3948

Published: North-South Linkages and International Macroeconomic Policy, Vines, Davidand David Currie, eds., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995,pp. 77-100.

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