Unlike economies as a whole, manufacturing industries exhibit strong unconditional convergence in labor productivity. The article documents this at various levels of disaggregation for a large sample covering more than 100 countries over recent decades. The result is highly robust to changes in the sample and specification. The coefficient of unconditional convergence is estimated quite precisely and is large, at between 2–3% in most specifications and 2.9% a year in the baseline specification covering 118 countries. The article also finds substantial sigma convergence at the two-digit level for a smaller sample of countries. Despite strong convergence within manufacturing, aggregate convergence fails due to the small share of manufacturing employment in low-income countries and the slow pace of industrialization. Because of data coverage, these findings should be as viewed as applying to the organized, formal parts of manufacturing.
This is a substantially revised version of “Unconditional Convergence” below.
Government use policy to achieve certain outcomes. Sometimes the desired ends are worthwhile, and sometimes they are pernicious. Cross-country regressions have been the tool of choice in assessing the effectiveness of policies and the empirical relevance of these two diametrically opposite views of government behavior. When government policy responds systematically to economic or political objectives, the standard growth regression in which economic growth (or any other performance indicator) is regressed on policy tells us nothing about the effectiveness of policy and whether government motives are good or bad.
A short paper on the (mis)use of growth regressions.
The nation-state has long been under attack from liberal economists and cosmopolitan ethicists alike. But it has proved remarkably resilient and remains the principal locus of governance as well as the primary determinant of personal attachments and identity. The global financial crisis has further under- scored its centrality. Against the background of the globalization revolution, the tendency is to view the nation-state as a hindrance to the achievement of desirable economic and social outcomes. Yet it remains indispensable to the achievement of those goals.
Actually, we all do. (Roepke Lecture), May 2012.
Rodrik D. Do We Need to Rethink Growth Policies?. In: Blanchard O, Romer D, Spence M, Stiglitz J In the Wake of the Crisis: Leading Economists Reassess Economic Policy. Cambridge: The MIT Press ; 2012. pp. 157-167.
The global financial crisis has demonstrated that a financially open economy has many areas of vulnerability. Even when a country keeps its own house in order, it remains at the mercy of developments in external financial markets. So, one lesson to bear in mind is that policymakers need to guard against not just domestic shocks, but also shocks that emanate outward from financial instability elsewhere. To accomplish this, complete financial openness is not the best policy. A second lesson is that Turkey's prevailing growth strategy can neither be sustained nor generate enough employment. Therefore, it would be a mistake for the country to return to the status quo ante and resuscitate a model that fails to make adequate use of domestic resources. Most importantly, Turkey has to learn to live with a reduced reliance on external borrowing. The paper discusses the needed realignments in fiscal and exchange-rate policies.
Some changes in fiscal and exchange-rate policies are called for.
The objective of international economic arrangements must be to attain the maximum amount of integration or the maximum thickness in economic transactions that are consistent with maintaining space for diversity in national institutions and the arrangements. The objective would be to create enough policy space to allow rich countries to rework their social compacts at home, poor countries to restructure and diversify their economies so that they can position themselves better to benefit from globalisation, and all nations, rich and poor alike, to establish financial systems and regulatory structures that are more attuned to their own needs. A better managed globalisation will be a better globalisation, argues the paper.
Unlike economies as a whole, manufacturing industries exhibit unconditional convergence in labor productivity. The paper documents this finding for 4-digit manufacturing sectors for a large group of developed and developing countries over the period since 1990. The coefficient of unconditional convergence is estimated quite precisely and is large, at 3.0-5.6 percent per year depending on the estimation horizon. The result is robust to a large number of specification tests, and statistically highly significant. Because of data coverage, these findings should be as viewed as applying to the organized, formal parts of manufacturing.
Revised October 2011. Yes, it does exist, but you have to look for it in manufacturing industries.
In some countries structural change enhances economy-wide productivity, in others it reduces it. Why? Dataset and Employment VA data. Published as Chapter 2 of "Making Globalization Socially Sustainable."