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Autocatalytic Growth and Development and the South-North Convergence

Igor Matutinović

Journal of Economic Issues, 2020, vol. 54, issue 1, 233-251

Abstract: This article engages with the issue of income convergence between North and South by using the autocatalytic hypothesis of growth and development. Two system models describe positive and negative feedback loops which govern economic flows between North and South. The analysis of endogenous and exogenous negative feedbacks points to the process that would slowly push the world economy towards vanishing growth rates and, eventually, halt its material growth. The present work rejects convergence in per capita GDP between North and South from the theoretical perspective. Such an outcome would stand against one of the fundamental properties of autocatalytic dynamics—centripetality— that has its causal roots in the competitive process and capitalist institutions. In that sense, the autocatalytic hypothesis provides a theoretical explanation for those empirical analyses that dismisses convergence.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/00213624.2020.1720597

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