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International Output Convergence, Breaks, and Asymmetric Adjustment

Dimitris Christopoulos () and Miguel Leon-Ledesma ()

Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, 2011, vol. 15, issue 3, 1-33

Abstract: We present time series evidence on output convergence for 14 countries relative to the U.S. for the 1900-2008 period. We develop tests that allow for an unknown number of breaks in the series and also asymmetric convergence speed. We show that this asymmetry arises theoretically when the economy is not in the neighbourhood of the steady state. Breaks are modelled through a Fourier function fitted to the deterministic part of a time series, and asymmetries are modelled as a smooth transition function that matches the theory predictions. The tests are shown to have good finite sample properties. The results support the existence of convergence towards a mean that displays a break around the 1920s crisis and WWII. These breaks are associated to different patterns of post-WWII growth performance. Asymmetric mean reversion also appears to be an important feature driving convergence for most countries in the sample. This emphasizes the importance that disruptive historical events have on the dynamics of relative outputs.

Date: 2011
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