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Does Convergence Exist?

Jahan, Sumbul (2013): Does Convergence Exist?

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Abstract

DOES CONVERGENCE EXIST? Sumbul Jahan Institute of Business Administration (IBA), 2013 Research Project Supervisor: Dr. Farooq Pasha & Dr. Heman D. Lohano

The idea of convergence in economics is the hypothesis that poorer economies income will tend to grow at faster rates than richer economies. As a result, all economies should eventually converge; Developing countries have the potential to grow at a faster rate than the developed countries because of availability of better health facilities and technological advancements adopted from developed countries. Convergence can have two meanings: firstly, absolute (σ) convergence refers to a reduction in the dispersion of levels of income across economies; beta (β) convergence occurs when poor economies grow faster than rich ones.

This research estimates absolute and beta convergence using natural log of GDP per capita and natural log of GDP per person employed, highlighting the differences in results achieved using two income parameters. This research estimates absolute and beta convergence firstly for all countries of the world; then for all developed countries and all developing countries, which have been classified as per income groups; and lastly, all developing countries have been subdivided into three regional groups and absolute and beta convergence in those three groups namely: Europe & Asia, North & Sub Saharan Africa, and Latin America & the Caribbean for a time period of 31 years from 1980 – 2011. A pattern in results can be observed in this research, especially in three regional groups of developing countries. The differences in results in natural log of GDP per capita and natural log of GDP per person employed can be due to difference in literacy rate, standard of living, technological advancements, attitude towards work and many other structural variables.

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