Convergence hypothesis: The Latin American experience
Orozco Ruiz, Fernando
Doctor of Philosophy
This dissertation demonstrates conclusively that there is strong convergence on per capita GDP (RGDP) levels among 13 Latin American countries. However, when an extended sample that includes 18 Latin American countries is considered, there is no convergence on RGDP levels. The sample that includes 18 countries is comprised of the biggest economies in Latin America. The reduced sample of 13 countries is determined by the exclusion of the 5 most politically unstable economies from the extended group. Estimating an econometric model of relative economic growth shows that the differences in growth rates among the 13 economies are explained by Total Factor Productivity (TFP) catch-up and by the growth rates of factor intensities. Moreover, the results support the fact that TFP catch-up has been a stable feature among these countries in the post-war period. Following these results, a decomposition of average (logarithmic) growth rates of RGDP of both samples is presented. Exploratory empirical evidence bearing on a set of macroeconomic hypotheses relating to economic growth across 13 Latin American nations is presented.