Global Population Dynamics Drive the Phases of the Great Divergence and Convergence
14 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2014
Date Written: January 31, 2014
The 19th century saw the explosive growth of a gap in per capita income between the First and Third World that has become known as the Great Divergence. In the twentieth century, the Great Divergence continued until the early 1970s, then in the late 1980s it was replaced by the Great Convergence as the majority of the Third World countries reached economic growth rates significantly higher than those in most First World countries. We show here that the dynamics in the GDP per capita gap between the First and Third World corresponds to the growth rate curve of the world population. We demonstrate that this is not coincidental, but reflects a close coupling between phases of global demographic transition and phases of the Great Divergence and Great Convergence. This obviously implies that the demographic component plays an important role in these processes.
Keywords: Population, Great Divergence, Income Gap
JEL Classification: J11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation