Are living standards converging?

Bart Hobijn, Philip Hans Franses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


We re-address the convergence issue that is so prominent in the economic growth literature and present evidence as to what extent there is convergence across measures of living standards, alternative to capita income. The four additional indicators that we use are daily calorie supply, daily protein supply, infant mortality rates, and life expectancy at birth. We present results obtained using three techniques previously considered in growth empirics. These are cross-country regressions, distributional dynamics, and cluster analysis. Our main finding is that convergence in real GDP per capita does not imply convergence in other social indicators. However, the qualitative results for all indicators are the same in the sense that the persistent gap between the rich and poor does not only manifest itself in real GDP per capita but also in living standards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-200
Number of pages30
JournalStructural Change and Economic Dynamics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Convergence
  • Growth empirics
  • Per capita income
  • Social indicators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Are living standards converging?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this