رشد اقتصادی در کشورهای خاورمیانه و شمال آفریقا: آیا همگرایی سرانه GDPs وجود دارد؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|16697||2013||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Policy Modeling, Volume 35, Issue 4, July–August 2013, Pages 669–683
In the last years a central issue in economic growth debate has been represented by the convergence problem. Many empirical economists have noticed that per-capita GDPs of poor regions tend to converge to those of the richer ones. This tendency is more evident in the nineties when the globalization phenomenon was born. In this paper we use a conditional β-convergence approach to evaluate the economic growth of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries. In particular, we use a set of state, environmental, and economic covariates as conditioning variables of the model. The MENA region is daily at the center of economic and political debate, and this stylized fact represents a further source of interest. Our data set is constituted by 26 countries, and ranges from 1950 to 2007.
There are very large differences in per-capita GDPs across countries today. The richer countries show a per-capita GDP more than thirty times larger than that of the poorest countries in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) adjusted dollars.1 For example, in 2011 per-capita GDP in the United States (US) was $48,442 (valued at current international dollars, World Bank source), while it was $8442 in China, $3650 in India, $2532 in Nigeria, and much lower in some other African countries such as Chad, Ethiopia, and Mali. The gap is obviously larger when there is no PPP adjustment. It is worth noticing that high-income levels generally reflect high standards of living. In fact, per-capita GDP is usually used as a proxy for the quality of life in different countries, but we are aware that material wealth is only one of many aspects of life that enhance economic well being. For example, recent estimates suggest that longevity has been a quantitatively important component in welfare in the US during the twentieth century (Nordhaus, 2003). So far, understanding the motivation of the presence of these persistent economic differences among countries represents one of the most important challenges facing social sciences. During the last years, the analysis of economic growth has become increasingly popular in the macroeconomic literature (Abramovitz, 1986 and Barro and Sala-i-Martin, 1995). Many empirical economists, in agreement with Solow's neoclassical growth model (1956), have observed that per-capita GDPs of poor regions grow more quickly than those of the rich ones, in other words poor countries tend to finally catch up rich ones (Barro & Sala-i-Martin, 1992). This phenomenon, known in literature as economic convergence, implies a long run tendency to equalization of per-capita GDPs.2 The assessment of this empirical tendency represents a matter of primary relevance for policy makers (Islam, 2003). According to the classification originally proposed by Galor (1996), three different definitions of economic convergence can be identified: absolute convergence, conditional convergence, and convergence clubs. Absolute convergence is reached when all economies converge toward the same steady-state (in terms of per-capita GDP growth rates). However, the steady-state may depend on features specific to each economy, in which case convergence will still take place, but not necessarily at the same levels. This is the case when per-capita GDP depends on a series of determinants such as, for example, factor endowment or institutions, which can vary from one economy to another even in the long run. Convergence is then said to be conditional. Finally, the concept of convergence clubs is linked to the existence of multiple, locally stable, steady-state equilibrium to which economies with similar characteristics converge (Durlauf & Johnson, 1995). Recently, the interest of empirical researcher focuses on the investigation of the phenomenon at the regional level, namely the analysis of economic convergence on intra-national scales. More recent studies introduce a spatial dimension into the formulation of the problem, see, for instance Rey and Montouri (1999) for an introduction of the problem, and Postiglione, Benedetti, and Lafratta (2010) and Postiglione, Andreano, and Benedetti (in press) for some very recent contributions to the debate. Alternative definitions, as those based on the concept of stochastic convergence, have also been introduced in the literature (Evans & Karras, 1996). To overcome some problems linked with the analysis of economic convergence, such as endogeneity, heterogeneity, and omitted variables, other techniques, like panel data (Islam, 1995 and Laureti and Postiglione, 2005), and probability transition matrices (Quah, 1997), have often been used. The purpose of the present paper is to analyze the economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries, with particular emphasis on the convergence process in terms of long-term trend of per-capita GDPs. The economy of the region has been heavily influenced by peculiar factors, such as energy sources, and demographic and institutional characteristics. Furthermore, this thematic paper aims to evidence the specific determinants of the growth process. The term MENA covers a wide geographical area, extending from Morocco to Iran, including the majority of both the Middle Eastern and Maghreb countries. Following the definition of World Bank, the MENA is: an economically heterogeneous region that includes both the oil-rich economies in the Gulf and countries that are resource-scarce in relation to population, such as Egypt, Morocco, and Yemen. For the complete description of the countries in our sample data see Section 3. 3 Over the last fifteen years, the growth performance of the MENA region as a whole, despite its natural resources richness, has been unsatisfactory and not in line with other developing countries. In comparison with other regions in the world, growth rates in the MENA countries have been remarkably volatile and lower than that of the poor-performing regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This volatility is only partly due to political and social instability, to the wars or to the marked fluctuations in oil prices that have characterized the history over the last century. Besides, the area is subject to a peculiar process of development, which probably has no equals worldwide. An example is the significant inter-regional migration flows, the consistent population growth, the policy mis-management, and, finally, the strong interdependence between politics on one side, and the economic and social spheres on the other side. Only a few empirical studies have dealt with the MENA region, largely due to lack of data. Abu-Qarn and Abu-Bader (2007) analyzed a period ranging from 1960 to 1998, and observed that accumulation of capital seems to be the major determinant of economic growth. Adams and Page (2003) used cross-country data to analyze trends in poverty, inequality, and economic growth in the MENA region. The analysis showed that international migration/remittances and public sector employment had a statistically significant impact on reducing the level and depth of poverty in the MENA region. Ben Naceur and Ghazouani (2007) highlighted the idea of not significant relationship between banking and stock market development and growth. Arouri, Youssef, M’henni, and Rault (2012) investigated the relationship between carbon dioxide emissions, energy consumption, and real GDP for 12 MENA countries over the period 1981–2005. Finally, Guetat and Serranito (2007) tested the convergence hypothesis in the MENA region using unit roots in panel data following Evans and Karras (1996) methodology. They concluded that the conditional convergence is not rejected for the majority of the MENA countries. In a previous paper, Andreano and Savio (2012) analyzed the absolute β-convergence for the MENA countries. They observed that the large and heterogeneous region of MENA has experienced over the last sixty years a process of weak not significant convergence, with apparent inequalities in recent period. The consequent social and political tensions still constitute an element of risk for the region, as evidenced by the recent events. In other words, the hypothesis of absolute β-convergence does not seem to be confirmed by the data. Compared to other studies, our analysis uses an enlarged definition of the MENA countries and covers a more extensive sample period ranging from 1950 to 2007. In the light of the recent events that characterized the Arabic spring, we re-examines the Summer-Heston data set in order to identify the conditioning factors of the growth in the area. The aim of the paper is to achieve a better understanding of the heterogeneous, interrelated characteristics of the growth, ranging from economic and social, to demographic and governance factors. The objective is to provide a proper interpretation of how these aspects, interacting with each other and at the same time with the initial conditions of development, have led to a given path of growth in the area. These main determinants are analyzed in terms of conditional β-convergence. The layout of the paper is the following. Section 2 is devoted to a review of the main concepts of β-convergence. A description of data and some statistical measure are given in Section 3. Furthermore, Section 3 presents the empirical analysis of conditional β-convergence approach for our data sample. Finally, Section 4 concludes the paper and outlines the future research agenda.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Globalization is changing the political and economic world with different effects in different regions. The gap between rich and poor countries has widely changed over the past two decades, and long-term convergence can be generally verified in empirical analyses. This paper attempts to empirically answer the question of whether there is convergence in per capita output across MENA countries. The empirical analysis of the natural logarithm of per-capita GDPs for 26 MENA countries over the last 60 years strongly confirms the hypothesis of conditional convergence. The analysis enabled us to identify the main variables on which a careful and prudent policy intervention at regional level should be based. In fact, the long-term growth in this highly heterogeneous area is the result of a set of socio-economic, technological, and governance factors. In our empirical analysis, the degree of international openness and the government intervention and expenditure are important economic control variables. The improvement of governance factors, such as actions to reduce corruption, the greater reliability and efficiency of government, political stability and violence reduction, play a role in stimulating the long-run behavior and moving up the development path of the steady-state. Technological development and human capital are both highly relevant for the growth. One important extension of our work concerns the analysis of the impact of the space dimension on the convergence process, here verified only with ex-ante identified dummies for the five geographic areas. In this respect, a more in-depth analysis is needed in order to confirm these results. Given the prominent role of technological progress in the conditional convergence analysis, different proxy might be used in the empirical analysis, in order to better evaluate its conditioning impact on the growth.