Global Population Dynamics Drive the Phases of the Great Divergence and Convergence

14 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2014  

Andrey Korotayev

National Research University Higher School of Economics; Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; Oriental Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences

Jonas Shaende

City University of New York

Jack A. Goldstone

George Mason University, Schar School of Policy and Government

Date Written: January 31, 2014

Abstract

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

Korotayev, Andrey and Shaende, Jonas and Goldstone, Jack A., Global Population Dynamics Drive the Phases of the Great Divergence and Convergence (January 31, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2389005 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2389005

Andrey Korotayev

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( email )

30/1 Spiridonovka
Moscow, 123001
Russia

Oriental Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences ( email )

12 Rozhdestvenka
Moscow
Russia

Jonas Shaende

City University of New York ( email )

695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
United States

Jack A. Goldstone (Contact Author)

George Mason University, Schar School of Policy and Government ( email )

3401 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

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