Consider two economies, identical in all respects except that one has a smaller capital stock than the other. The poorer country accumulates capital faster than the richer country and grows faster. This is exactly the same mechanism for convergence that we saw before. The country with a smaller capital stock will have a higher marginal product of capital and will grow faster because the country is a more attractive place for investment. Because the poor country accumulates capital more rapidly than the richer country, it will grow faster. The two countries will converge to the same balanced-growth path and to the same level of output per person. Convergence in Human Capital So far we have not considered why human capital might change over time. If there are reasons to think that this variable might grow more quickly in poor countries than in rich countries, we have another force that might drive convergence. In some ways, human capital resembles physical capital. As with the physical capital stock, some accumulation is the result of decisions by governments, and some comes from decisions by private agents. From the government side, it is likely that economies with low levels of human capital might also be economies in which there is a high return to basic education. If literacy rates are low and most children do not receive much education, even straightforward investments in schooling might yield big gains in terms of the ultimate capabilities of the workforce. Governments in poor countries might see big potential gains from investment in education. Private individuals and firms may also perceive that the returns on education are larger in poorer economies. If very few people in the economy have college degrees, an individual might find that a college education yields a very large payoff. By contrast, if the population as a whole is highly educated, it might take a much larger investment to stand out from others. This discussion is somewhat speculative. Human capital is difficult to measure, and the marginal product of human capital is even harder to quantify. Nevertheless, there are some good reasons to believe that the incentives to invest in human capital are greater in poorer economies. If so, we have another reason to expect convergence.
Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
The Poorer Country vs the Richer Country
Just from $13/Page