En busca de la convergencia

CAMBRIDGE – Uno de los enigmas de la economía mundial es que durante 200 años los países más ricos crecieron más rápido que los más pobres, un proceso aptamente descrito por Lant Pritchett como Divergencia en Grande. Cuando Adam Smith escribió La Riqueza de las Naciones en 1776, el ingreso per cápita en el país más rico del mundo - probablemente Holanda - era alrededor de cuatro veces el de los países más pobres. Doscientos años después, Holanda era 40 veces más rico que China, 24 veces más que India y 10 veces más que Tailandia.

Pero la tendencia se ha revertido en los últimos treinta años. Hoy día, Holanda es sólo 11 veces más rico que India y apenas 4 veces más que China y Tailandia. Consciente de esta tendencia, el Premio Nobel de Economía Michael Spence sostiene que el mundo se encuentra al borde de La próxima convergencia.

Pero algunos países todavía están divergiendo. Aunque en 1980 Holanda era 5,8; 7,7 y 15 veces más rico que Nicaragua, Costa de Marfil y Kenia, respectivamente, en 2012 era 10,5; 21,1 y 24,4 veces más rico.

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