Economic Convergence and Economic Policies

Sachs, Jeffrey D.; Warner, Andrew M.

Many of the crucial debates in development economics are encapsulated in the question of economic convergence. Is there a tendency for the poorer countries to grow more rapidly than the richer countries, and thereby to converge in living standards? Some recent research on endogenous growth has emphasized increasing returns as a possible reason not to expect convergence. Other research has suggested that convergence may be achieved only after poor countries attain a threshold level of income or human capital. This paper presents evidence that a sufficient condition for higher-than-average growth of poorer countries, and therefore convergence, is that poorer countries follow reasonably efficient economic policies, mainly open trade and protection of private property rights.


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Academic Units
Earth Institute
Harvard Institute for International Development
Development Discussion Paper, 502
Published Here
September 25, 2009


Presented at conference in Prague, December 1994, as part of Asia Foundation project on Economies in Transition.