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An Alternative View of the Convergence Issue of Growth Empirics

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In this paper, we study the dynamics of economic growth for 140 countries during the period 1951–2003. The variables representing economic performance are levels and growth rates of per capita gross domestic product. Using the concept of economic regime, we introduce a notion of distance between the dynamical paths of different countries. Then, a minimal spanning tree and a hierarchical tree are constructed from time series to help detect the existence of groups of countries sharing similar economic performance. The two main clusters that are identified over the whole‐time interval can be interpreted as two groups of countries with high and low performance, respectively. The evolution of such clusters shows three main stylised facts: Certain countries move across clusters; the high‐performance cluster tends to span, while the low‐performance one tends to be (more) compact; and the distance between the two groups increases in time.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Economics and Management, Free University of Bolzano 2: Department of Economics at the Universidad Nacional del Sur, Bahía Blanca, Argentina 3: Economic Development at the University of Siena and INCT-PPED of the UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro 4: School of Economics, University of Siena, Italy

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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