Testing the Convergence Hypothesis for Human Development: An Inter-Country Analysis

Dhillon, Sharanjit Singh, and Prabhjot Kaur (2011). "Testing the Convergence Hypothesis for Human Development: An Inter-Country Analysis" Paper presented at the 8th annual conference of the HDCA, 6-8 September 2011, the Hague, the Netherlands.

The concept of ?-convergence and unconditional ?-convergence are applied to the components of Human Development - Health status (measured by average life expectancy); Education status (measured by adult literacy rate); Per Capita GDP and the aggregate Human Development Index in order to examine whether poor countries are catching up the rich ones in terms of average life expectancy, adult literacy rate, per capita income and the Human Development Index or not. For examining ?-convergence we measured the standard deviations across countries of the logarithm of the respective variable and ?-convergence hypothesis has been tested by regressing the average growth rate of a variable on the log of its initial value. The results of the study indicate the presence of ? and ? convergence for human development index, health status (measured by life expectancy) and education status (measured by Adult literacy rate). However, in case of per capita GDP neither ? nor unconditional ? convergence has been found, signalling that the poor countries are getting relatively poorer and the rich getting richer in terms of Per Capita income, and the gap between the rich and poor is widening further. The study highlights that poor countries are catching up with the rich in terms of life expectancy, literacy rate and overall human development.
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