Eine Welt der Konvergenz

WASHINGTON, DC – Beinahe zwei Jahrhunderte lang – seit dem Jahr 1800 etwa -  war die Geschichte der Weltwirtschaft weitgehend von einer Divergenz der Durchschnittseinkommen geprägt. Relativ gesehen wurden reiche Länder sogar noch reicher. In ärmeren Ländern gab es zwar auch Wachstum, aber es verlief langsamer als in reichen Ländern und die Kluft im Hinblick auf den Wohlstand zwischen armen und reichen Ländern wuchs. 

Besonders ausgeprägt war diese „Divergenz“ in der Kolonialzeit. Nach den 1940er Jahren schwächte sich diese Entwicklung etwas ab, aber erst um 1990 wurde ein gänzlich neuer Trend beobachtet – nämlich eine Konvergenz zwischen den Durchschnittseinkommen in reichen Ländern und denen im Rest der Welt. Im Gegensatz zu beinahe zweihundert Jahren niedrigerer oder vielfach gleicher Wachstumsraten, stieg das durchschnittliche Pro-Kopf-Einkommen in den Schwellen- und Entwicklungsländern zwischen 1990 und 2010 fast dreimal schneller als das Durchschnittseinkommen in Europa, Nordamerika und Japan.

Dabei handelt es sich um einen revolutionären Wandel, aber wird dieser Trend der letzten 20 Jahre weiter anhalten? Wird diese Annäherung weiterhin so rasch voranschreiten oder wird sie als zeitweiliges Phänomen  in die Geschichte der Weltwirtschaft eingehen?

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