Explain financial convergenceAnalyze various arguments for and versus economic convergenceEvaluate the rate of economic convergence between high-income countries and also the rest of the world

Some low-income and middle-income economies roughly the civilization have presented a sample of convergence, in i beg your pardon their economies grow much faster than those that high-income countries. GDP enhanced by an average rate of 2.7% per year in the 1990s and 2.3% per year indigenous 2000 come 2008 in the high-income countries of the world, which include the unified States, Canada, the europe Union countries, Japan, Australia, and brand-new Zealand.

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(Figure) list 10 nations that belong to casual “fast development club.” These countries averaged GDP growth (after adjusting for inflation) of at the very least 5% per year in both the time periods from 1990 come 2000 and also from 2000 to 2008. Because economic growth in these countries has exceeded the mean of the world high-income economies, these countries may converge through the high-income countries. The second component of (Figure) list the “slow expansion club,” which consists of nations that averaged GDP development of 2% per year or less (after adjusting because that inflation) during the exact same time periods. The final part of (Figure) mirrors GDP growth rates for the countries of the people divided through income.

Economic Growth roughly the World(Source: http://databank.worldbank.org/data/views/variableSelection/selectvariables.aspx?source=world-development-indicators#c_u)CountryAverage development Rate of genuine GDP 1990–2000Average expansion Rate of actual GDP 2000–2008
Fast development Club (5% or more per year in both time periods)
Laos6.5%6.8 %
Slow development Club (2% or much less per year in both time periods)
Central african Republic2.0%0.8%
United claims (for reference)3.2%2.2%
World Overview
High income2.7%2.3%
Low income3.8%5.6%
Middle income4.7%6.1%

Each that the nations in (Figure) has its own distinct story of invest in human and also physical capital, technological gains, market forces, government policies, and even lucky events, however an all at once pattern of convergence is clear. The low-income nations have GDP growth that is quicker than that of the middle-income countries, i m sorry in turn have actually GDP expansion that is much faster than the of the high-income countries. Two significant members the the fast-growth club are China and India, which in between them have nearly 40% of the world population. Some prominent members of the slow-growth club space high-income countries like France, Germany, Italy, and Japan.

Will this sample of economic convergence persist right into the future? This is a controversial question amongst economists that we will consider by feather at some of the main debates on both sides.

Arguments favoring Convergence

Several debates suggest the low-income countries can have an benefit in achieving higher worker productivity and also economic expansion in the future.

A first argument is based upon diminishing marginal returns. Even though deepening human and also physical resources will often tend to rise GDP every capita, the law of diminishing returns suggests that as an economy continues to boost its human and physical capital, the marginal profit to financial growth will certainly diminish. Because that example, increasing the average education level that the population by two years indigenous a tenth-grade level to a high institution diploma (while holding all other inputs constant) would produce a details increase in output. Second two-year increase, so that the median person had a two-year university degree, would increase output further, however the marginal gain would be smaller. However another added two-year increase in the level that education, so the the average human being would have a four-year-college bachelor’s degree, would increase output tho further, however the marginal rise would again it is in smaller. A similar lesson holds for physical capital. If the quantity of physics capital easily accessible to the mean worker increases, by, say, $5,000 come $10,000 (again, if holding all other inputs constant), it will boost the level of output. An additional increase native $10,000 to $15,000 will boost output further, but the marginal rise will it is in smaller.

Low-income nations like China and India have tendency to have lower levels of human capital and also physical capital, therefore an investment in funding deepening should have a bigger marginal impact in these nations than in high-income countries, whereby levels of human and also physical capital are already relatively high. Diminishing returns suggests that low-income economies can converge come the levels that the high-income countries achieve.

A 2nd argument is the low-income nations may uncover it less complicated to enhance their innovations than high-income countries. High-income countries must continually invent new technologies, whereas low-income countries can often uncover ways that applying an innovation that has already been invented and is well understood. The economist Alexander Gerschenkron (1904–1978) offered this phenomenon a memorable name: “the benefits of backwardness.” that course, he did no literally mean that that is an benefit to have actually a reduced standard that living. He was mentioning that a nation that is behind has some extra potential for catching up.

Finally, optimists argue that countless countries have actually observed the experience of those that have actually grown much more quickly and have learned indigenous it. Moreover, once the world of a country start to reap the services of a higher standard the living, they might be more likely come build and support the market-friendly establishments that will certainly help provide this conventional of living.

Arguments the Convergence Is neither inevitable nor Likely

If the economy’s development depended just on the deepening of human being capital and also physical capital, then us would suppose that economy’s development rate to sluggish down over the long run due to the fact that of diminishing marginal returns. However, over there is another critical factor in the aggregate production function: technology.

Developing brand-new technology can carry out a method for an economic situation to sidestep the diminishing marginal returns of resources deepening. (Figure) reflects how. The figure’s horizontal axis actions the lot of resources deepening, i beg your pardon on this figure is an overall measure that has deepening of both physical and human capital. The amount of human and also physical capital per worker rises as you move from left to right, from C1 to C2 come C3. The diagram’s upright axis measures per capita output. Begin by considering the lowest line in this diagram, labeled technology 1. Along this aggregate production function, the level of technology is hosted constant, for this reason the line shows just the relationship between capital deepening and output. As resources deepens native C1 to C2 come C3 and also the economy moves native R come U come W, per capita calculation does increase—but the means in i beg your pardon the heat starts the end steeper on the left however then flattens as it move to the right shows the diminishing marginal returns, as additional marginal amounts of capital deepening boost output through ever-smaller amounts. The shape of the accumulation production line (Technology 1) mirrors that the capability of funding deepening, through itself, to generate sustained financial growth is limited, due to the fact that diminishing returns will eventually collection in.

Imagine that the economic climate starts at allude R, v the level of physical and human capital C1 and also the output per capita at G1. If the economic situation relies only on capital deepening, while continuing to be at the modern technology level shown by the an innovation 1 line, then it would face diminishing marginal returns as it relocated from point R to suggest U to allude W. However, currently imagine that capital deepening is an unified with renovations in technology. Then, as resources deepens native C1 to C2, technology improves from technology 1 to modern technology 2, and also the economy moves from R to S. Similarly, as capital deepens indigenous C2 to C3, an innovation increases from modern technology 2 to an innovation 3, and the economic situation moves native S to T. With renovations in technology, there is no longer any kind of reason that economic growth should necessarily sluggish down.


Now, bring improvements in an innovation into the picture. Enhanced technology means that through a given set of inputs, much more output is possible. The production function labeled technology 1 in the number is based upon one level the technology, but modern technology 2 is based upon an enhanced level the technology, so because that every level of funding deepening on the horizontal axis, it produces a higher level of output on the upright axis. In turn, production role Technology 3 to represent a still greater level that technology, so that for every level of inputs on the horizontal axis, the produces a greater level of output on the vertical axis than either the the various other two aggregate production functions.

Most healthy, farming economies room deepening their human and physical capital and also increasing technology at the very same time. As a result, the economy can move from a choice like allude R top top the technology 1 aggregate production line to a suggest like S on an innovation 2 and also a suggest like T on the still greater aggregate manufacturing line (Technology 3). V the mix of technology and capital deepening, the rise in GDP every capita in high-income countries does not need to fade away because of diminishing returns. The profit from technology can counter the diminishing returns associated with resources deepening.

Will technological improvements us run into diminishing returns over time? the is, will it end up being continually harder and more costly to discover brand-new technological improvements? possibly someday, but, at least over the last two centuries since the beginning of the industrial Revolution, improvements in technology have not run right into diminishing marginal returns. Modern-day inventions, prefer the web or discoveries in genes or materials science, execute not it seems ~ to carry out smaller profit to output than previously inventions favor the heavy steam engine or the railroad. One factor that technological ideas carry out not seem to run into diminishing returns is the we regularly can use widely the principles of brand-new technology at a marginal cost that is an extremely low or even zero. A certain worker or team of workers should use a specific additional machine, or an additional year the education. Countless workers throughout the economic situation can usage a brand-new technology or creation at very low marginal cost.

The debate that it is easier for a low-income nation to copy and adapt existing technology than the is because that a high-income country to invent brand-new technology is no necessarily true, either. Once it concerns adapting and using brand-new technology, a society’s performance is not necessarily guaranteed, but is the result of even if it is the country’s economic, educational, and public policy institutions are supportive. In theory, perhaps, low-income nations have many methods to copy and also adapt technology, yet if they absence the proper supportive economic infrastructure and institutions, the theoretical opportunity that backwardness can have certain advantages is of tiny practical relevance.

The Slowness that Convergence

Although financial convergence in between the high-income countries and also the remainder of the people seems possible and even likely, it will continue slowly. Consider, because that example, a nation that start off with a GDP every capita of $40,000, i beg your pardon would roughly represent a typical high-income country today, and another nation that starts the end at $4,000, i beg your pardon is around the level in low-income but not impoverished nations like Indonesia, Guatemala, or Egypt. Say that the rich nation chugs follow me at a 2% yearly growth price of GDP every capita, when the poorer country grows at the aggressive rate of 7% every year. After 30 years, GDP per capita in the rich country will it is in $72,450 (that is, $40,000 (1 + 0.02)30) while in the poor country it will certainly be $30,450 (that is, $4,000 (1 + 0.07)30). Convergence has occurred. The rich nation used to it is in 10 times as affluent as the bad one, and also now the is only around 2.4 times as wealthy. Also after 30 consecutive years of really rapid growth, however, people in the low-income nation are still most likely to feel quite negative compared to world in the rich country. Moreover, as the negative country records up, its avenues for catch-up expansion are reduced, and its development rate may slow under somewhat.

The slowness that convergence illustrates again that tiny differences in annual rates of economic growth become large differences over time. The high-income countries have been structure up their benefit in standard of living over decades—more than a century in some cases. Also in an hopeful scenario, it will take decades for the low-income nations of the human being to record up significantly.

We have the right to tell the story of modern economic development by looking in ~ calorie usage over time. The dramatic increase in incomes enabled the average person to eat much better and consume more calories. Exactly how did these incomes increase? The neoclassical growth agreement uses the accumulation production role to suggest that the duration of contemporary economic expansion came around because of increases in inputs together as technology and physical and also human capital. Additionally important to be the way in which technical progress combined with physical and human funding deepening to develop growth and also convergence. The issue of distribution of revenue notwithstanding, that is clear the the average worker have the right to afford much more calories in 2017 보다 in 1875.

Aside from increases in income, there is another reason why the typical person have the right to afford more food. Contemporary agriculture has allowed many nations to produce much more food than they need. Regardless of having more than sufficient food, however, many governments and also multilateral agencies have not addressed the food distribution problem. In fact, food shortages, famine, or basic food insecurity room caused much more often by the fail of federal government macroeconomic policy, according to the Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen. Sen has conducted extensive research study into worries of inequality, poverty, and also the function of government in boosting standards that living. Macroeconomic policies that effort toward stable inflation, full employment, education of women, and also preservation of residential or commercial property rights are more likely to eliminate starvation and administer for a much more even distribution of food.

Because we have much more food per capita, global food prices have actually decreased because 1875. The prices of some foods, however, have decreased more than the price of others. For example, researchers from the university of Washington have presented that in the united States, calories from zucchini and lettuce space 100 times an ext expensive than calories from oil, butter, and sugar. Research from nations like India, China, and also the joined States argues that as incomes rise, people want more calories native fats and also protein and fewer native carbohydrates. This has very interesting ramifications for an international food production, obesity, and also environmental consequences. Affluent city India has actually an obesity problem much like many parts of the unified States. The pressures of convergence space at work.

Key Concepts and Summary

When countries with reduced GDP levels per capita capture up to nations with higher GDP levels per capita, we speak to the procedure convergence. Convergence deserve to occur also when both high- and also low-income nations increase investment in physical and also human resources with the target of growing GDP. This is due to the fact that the affect of brand-new investment in physical and human resources on a low-income nation may result in substantial gains as new skills or equipment integrate with the job force. In higher-income countries, however, a level of invest equal to the of the short income country is not most likely to have as huge an impact, because the an ext developed country most likely already has high level of resources investment. Therefore, the marginal gain from this additional investment often tends to be successively less and less. Higher income countries are more likely to have diminishing returns to your investments and must continuous invent new technologies. This permits lower-income economic situations to have actually a chance for convergent growth. However, plenty of high-income economic climates have arisen economic and political establishments that carry out a healthy economic climate because that an ongoing stream of technological innovations. Consistent technological innovation can counterbalance diminishing return to invest in human and also physical capital.

Use an example to explain why, after periods of quick growth, a low-income nation that has not captured up come a high-income country may feel poor.

A good way come think around this is exactly how a jogger who has fallen behind in a gyeongju feels psychologically and also physically as he captures up. Playing catch-up have the right to be an ext taxing than maintaining one’s place at the head the the pack.

Would the following events usually command to capital deepening? Why or why not?

A weak economic climate in i m sorry businesses end up being reluctant to make permanent investments in physics capital.A increase in global trade.A trend in which many more adults get involved in continuing education courses v their employers and also at colleges and universities.
No. Funding deepening advert to rise in the amount of funding per person in an economy. A to decrease in invest by firms will certainly actually cause the the opposite of resources deepening (since the populace will flourish over time).There is no direct connection between boost in worldwide trade and capital deepening. One might imagine details scenarios where trade could lead to resources deepening (for example, if international funding inflows—which are the equivalent to increasing the trade deficit—lead to an increase in physical capital investment), however in general, no.Yes. Capital deepening ad to boost in one of two people physical capital or human funding per person. Proceeding education or any time the lifelong learning adds to human capital and thus creates funding deepening.

The benefits of backwardness incorporate faster expansion rates because of the process of convergence, and the ability to adopt new technologies the were developed first in the “leader” countries. While gift “backward” is not naturally a good thing, Gerschenkron stressed the there are particular advantages which assist countries trying come “catch up.”

Would girlfriend expect resources deepening to an outcome in reduced returns? Why or why not? would certainly you expect renovations in technology to an outcome in decreased returns? Why or why not?

Capital deepening, by definition, should lead to decreased returns since you’re investing an ext and more but utilizing the same methods of production, resulting in the marginal performance declining. This is shown on a production duty as a movement along the curve. Renovations in technology should not lead to reduced returns since you room finding new and more efficient ways of using the same amount the capital. This can be illustrated as a shift upward the the production function curve.

Why does productivity expansion in high-income economic situations not sluggish down together it runs into diminishing return from added investments in physics capital and human capital? go this display one area whereby the concept of diminishing returns stops working to apply? Why or why not?

Productivity development from brand-new advances in an innovation will not slow due to the fact that the brand-new methods of manufacturing will be adopted reasonably quickly and also easily, at an extremely low marginal cost. Also, nations that space seeing technology growth usually have actually a huge and an effective set of institutions for cultivate workers and also building better machines, which permits the maximum lot of human being to benefit from the brand-new technology. These factors have the added effect of make additional technical advances even much easier for this countries.

For a high-income economy like the joined States, what accumulation production role elements space most necessary in bringing around growth in GDP per capita? What about a middle-income country such together Brazil? A low-income nation such as Niger?

List some arguments for and versus the likelihood that convergence.

Critical thinking Questions

What kinds of plans can governments implement to encourage convergence?

As technical change makes us more sedentary and also food prices increase, excessive weight is likely. What components do you think may limit obesity?


Central knowledge Agency. “The world Factbook: country Comparison: GDP–Real expansion Rate.” https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2003rank.html.

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Sen, Amartya. “Hunger in the modern World (Discussion document DEDPS/8).”The Suntory Centre: London school of Economics and also Political Science. Last modified November 1997. Http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/de/dedps8.pdf.


convergencepattern in which economic climates with short per capita incomes grow much faster than economies with high per capita incomes