A test of the international convergence hypothesis using panel data
Loayza, Norman V.
The author, using a neoclassical Solow model, estimates an economy's rate of convergence to its own steady state. Using panel date for a sample of 98 countries, the author applies Chamberlain's (1984) estimation procedures to account for the presence of country-specific effects resulting from idiosyncratic unobservable factors. This procedure also prevents the estimation bias due to measurement error in the Gross Domestic Product. Controlling, additionally, for the country's level of education, the author estimates the rate of convergence to be 0.0494, which implies a half-life of about 14 years. This estimated rate of convergence is about two and a half times higher than those obtained by Barro and Salai-Martin (1992) and Makiw, Romer, and Weil (1992). The author claims that those estimates are biased toward zero because they fail to account for country specific effects. Finally, the author estimates the capital share in production to be 0.374, which is very close to the accepted benchmark value.
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