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Convergence or divergence in cross-country growth?

Dobson, Stephen; Ramlogan-Dobson, Carlyn; Strobl, Eric


Stephen Dobson

Eric Strobl


In the traditional empirical convergence literature, a negative coefficient on initial income in a cross-country growth regression is interpreted as evidence of poor countries growing faster than richer ones. A key assumption in this work is that the relationship between initial income and income growth is linear. The linearity assumption is challenged in some new growth theories, and studies adopting an alternative (semi-parametric or nonlinear) econometric methodology provide support for a nonlinear specification. This paper finds evidence for nonlinear convergence. Using semi-parametric estimation we find that convergence occurs among countries with very low and very high initial incomes, suggesting that convergence clubs characterize the cross-country growth process. Our results provide further evidence for multiple-regime steady states. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Dobson, S., Ramlogan-Dobson, C., & Strobl, E. (2012). Convergence or divergence in cross-country growth?. International review of applied economics, 26(3), 417-424.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 17, 2010
Online Publication Date May 9, 2011
Publication Date May 1, 2012
Deposit Date May 9, 2022
Journal International Review of Applied Economics
Print ISSN 0269-2171
Electronic ISSN 1465-3486
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 3
Pages 417-424
Keywords Convergence clubs; Convergence hypothesis; Nonlinear convergence; Semi-parametric kernel regression
Public URL