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Catching up: Developing countries in pursuit of growth

Popov, Vladimir (2015): Catching up: Developing countries in pursuit of growth.

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Abstract

This paper examines the trajectory of growth in the Global South. Before the 1500s all countries were roughly at the same level of development, but from the 1500s Western countries started to grow faster than the rest of the world and PPP GDP per capita by 1950 in the US, the richest Western nation, was nearly 5 times higher than the world average. Since 1950 this ratio stabilized – not only Western Europe and Japan improved their relative standing in per capita income versus the US, but also East Asia, South Asia and some developing countries in other regions started to bridge the gap with the West. After nearly half of millennium of growing economic divergence, the world seems to have entered the era of convergence. The factors behind these trends are analyzed; implications for the future and scenarios are considered.

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