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The poor stay poor: Non-convergence across countries and regions
Canova, Fabio; Marcet, Albert
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
We study the issue of income convergence across countries and regions witha Bayesian estimator which allows us to use information in an efficient andflexible way. We argue that the very slow convergence rates to a commonlevel of per-capita income found, e.g., by Barro and Xavier Sala-i-Martin,is due to a 'fixed effect bias' that their cross-sectional analysisintroduces in the results. Our approach permits the estimation of differentconvergence rates to different steady states for each cross sectional unit.When this diversity is allowed, we find that convergence of each unit to(its own) steady state income level is much faster than previously estimatedbut that cross sectional differences persist: inequalities will only bereduced by a small amount by the passage of time. The cross countrydistribution of the steady state is largely explained by the cross countrydistribution of initial conditions.
Macroeconomics and International Economics
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