The Middle-Income Transition around the Globe: Characteristics of Graduation and Slowdown

41 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2015

See all articles by Paul Vandenberg

Paul Vandenberg

Asian Development Bank Institute

Lilibeth P. Poot

Asian Development Bank

Jeffrey Miyamoto

Asian Development Bank Institute

Date Written: April 6, 2015

Abstract

The paper investigates the situation of middle-income economies around the world. Since 1965, only 18 economies with a population of more than 3 million and not dependent on oil exports have made the transition to being high income. Many more have not been able to move beyond the middle-income stage. We conduct statistical tests of differences between two groups of economies across a range of growth and development variables. The results suggest that middle-income economies are particularly weak in the following areas: governance, infrastructure, savings and investment, inequality, and quality — but not quantity — of education. The findings are used to suggest whether the People's Republic of China is successfully progressing through the middle-income stage or whether it may get caught in a middle-income trap.

Keywords: middle-income trap, transition, economic development, slowdown

JEL Classification: O14, O33, O40, O53

Suggested Citation

Vandenberg, Paul and Poot, Lilibeth P. and Miyamoto, Jeffrey, The Middle-Income Transition around the Globe: Characteristics of Graduation and Slowdown (April 6, 2015). ADBI Working Paper 519. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2590289 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2590289

Paul Vandenberg (Contact Author)

Asian Development Bank Institute ( email )

Kasumigaseki Building 8F
3-2-5, Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, 100-6008
Japan

Lilibeth P. Poot

Asian Development Bank ( email )

6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550
Metro Manila
Philippines

Jeffrey Miyamoto

Asian Development Bank Institute ( email )

Kasumigaseki Building 8F
3-2-5, Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, 100-6008
Japan

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