Em Busca da Convergência

CAMBRIDGE – Um enigma da economia mundial é que, durante 200 anos, os países ricos do mundo cresceram mais rapidamente que os países mais pobres, um processo adequadamente descrito por Lant Pritchett como Divergence, Big Time. Quando Adam Smith escreveu A Riqueza das Nações em 1776, o rendimento per capita no país mais rico do mundo – provavelmente, os Países Baixos – era cerca de quatro vezes maior que o dos países mais pobres. Dois séculos mais tarde, os Países Baixos eram 40 vezes mais ricos que a China, 24 vezes mais ricos que a Índia, e dez vezes mais ricos que a Tailândia.

Mas, nas últimas três décadas, a tendência inverteu-se. Agora, os Países Baixos são apenas 11 vezes mais ricos que a Índia e dificilmente quatro vezes mais ricos do que a China e a Tailândia. Notando esta inversão, o economista laureado com o Nobel Michael Spence defende que o mundo está preparado para A Próxima Convergência.

Contudo, alguns países ainda divergem. Embora em 1980 os Países Baixos fossem 5.8, 7.7 e 15 vezes mais ricos do que a Nicarágua, Costa do Marfim, e Quénia, respectivamente, em 2012 eram 10.5, 21.1 e 24.4 vezes mais ricos.

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