Beyond Income: Convergence in Living Standards, Big Time

31 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2003 Last revised: 5 Jul 2010

See all articles by Eric Neumayer

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: July 5, 2010

Abstract

This article tests for convergence over the period 1960 to 1999 in a wide range of fundamental aspects of living standards, namely life expectancy, infant survival, educational enrolment, literacy as well as telephone and television availability. I argue that one should look at convergence in living standards, not in some achievement index. Various techniques are applied to test for convergence, including regression analysis, the coefficient of variation, kernel density estimates and transition probability matrices. I find strong evidence for convergence in the aspects of living standards mentioned above. This result stands in stark contrast to the conclusions of an article by Hobijn and Franses (2001), published in this journal. In suggesting divergence rather than convergence in living standards, Hobijn and Franses unduly deny one of the great success stories of development in the last century.

Suggested Citation

Neumayer, Eric, Beyond Income: Convergence in Living Standards, Big Time (July 5, 2010). Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 275-296, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=482023

Eric Neumayer (Contact Author)

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) ( email )

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