Un mondo di convergenza

WASHINGTON– Per quasi due secoli, sin dal 1800, la storia dell’economia globale è stata per lo più centrata sulla divergenza del reddito medio. In termini relativi, i paesi ricchi sono diventati sempre più ricchi e, sebbene si sia sempre registrata una crescita anche nei paesi poveri, si è comunque sempre trattato di una crescita più lenta rispetto a quella dei paesi ricchi. Inoltre, anche la differenza di prosperità tra paesi ricchi e poveri ha continuato ad aumentare.

Questa “divergenza” era particolarmente marcata nel periodo coloniale. Negli anni ’40 è invece leggermente diminuita, ma è solo intorno agli anni ’90 che si è osservato un trend del tutto nuovo, ovvero una convergenza tra i redditi medi dei paesi ricchi ed il resto del mondo. Dal 1990 al 2010, il reddito medio pro capite nei paesi emergenti ed in via di sviluppo è cresciuto con una velocità pari a circa tre volte quella del reddito medio in Europa, nell’America settentrionale e in Giappone, rispetto ai tassi di crescita più bassi, o al massimo, equivalenti, mantenuti per circa due secoli.

Si tratta quindi di un cambiamento rivoluzionario. Ma questo trend, che va avanti ormai da vent’anni, continuerà? La convergenza seguirà a essere così rapida, o si tratterà infine solo di una fase temporanea della storia dell’economia mondiale?

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