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Catch UpDeveloping Countries in the World Economy$
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Deepak Nayyar

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199652983

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199652983.001.0001

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End of Divergence: Beginnings of Convergence?

End of Divergence: Beginnings of Convergence?

(p.49) 4 End of Divergence: Beginnings of Convergence?
Catch Up

Deepak Nayyar

Oxford University Press

The changes in the significance of developing countries in the world economy during the period from 1950 to 2010 provide a sharp contrast when compared with the period from 1820 to 1950. In terms of both PPP and market exchange rates, after 1980, the share of developing countries in world output rose rapidly, divergence in per capita income stopped and a modest convergence began. This was attributable almost entirely to Asia, as Latin America witnessed neither, while Africa experienced a declining share and continuing divergence. During the 2000s, convergence was more discernible and broader based. The idea that latecomers to industrialization catch up with countries that are leaders, over time, exists in unconventional economic history and orthodox economic theory. But there is nothing automatic about convergence, or about growth. Convergence and divergence are often simultaneous. This is borne out by the experience of developing countries in the world economy since 1950.

Keywords:   Divergence, convergence, purchasing-power-parity, GDP, GDP per capita, output shares, income levels, asymmetries, growth rates, convergence hypotheses

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