Economic integration is generally thought to favour convergence in the economic performance of previously separated regions; but this is far from universally true, as the experience of the members of the Eurozone testifies. The paper considers the two sharply contrasting cases of East and West German convergence following reunification and the enduring poverty of the Italian Mezzogiorno since Italian unification a century and a half ago. In both countries, political integration delivers much higher consumption in the lagging relative to the leading region than of per capita GDP. Consumption convergence can be supported by transfers but 'production' convergence ultimately requires catch-up in the production of tradeables. The paper demonstrates the radically different performance of the tradeable sector in the two cases, and suggests that this may be the result of differences in labour market flexibility, in investment performance and in the social norms required for the production of complex manufacturing. * The authors are grateful to Samuel Bowles and Nauro Campos for some very useful suggestions. They also thank participants at seminars at Brunel University, at the Santa Fe Institute and at ANU, as well as two anonymous referees and Daniel Berkovitz, the Journal's Editor, for comments that have clearly improved the paper.
China is located in East Asia and, just as Japan, Taiwan or (South) Korea at earlier stages of their development, has now grown very rapidly for some three decades. That is not enough, however, for it to qualify for membership of the club. The East Asian development model has a number of additional and important characteristics. Four are selected for discussion: the almost constant encouragement given to investment, the manufacturing sector and external competitiveness, and pursued via a variety of fairly interventionist industrial, trade and financial policies; a concomitant belief in the virtues of intense domestic (Japan and Taiwan) and foreign (Korea) competition; a set of broadly sensible and appropriate macroeconomic policies; and a number of favourable (pre-)conditions, such as the presence of a homogeneous population, a relatively high stock of human capital, reasonable income equality and fairly authoritarian governments. China, since reforms began in the late 1970s, has shared some of these characteristics, but not all. In particular, it is still much more of a command economy than the other three countries have ever been, yet, at the same time, has embraced globalization with, arguably, much greater enthusiasm than was done, in earlier times, by Japan, Taiwan or Korea. If China's experience, however, is compared with that of other, more or less successful, developing countries, the similarities with the East Asia development model would seem to dwarf such differences.JEL codes: N10, N15, O53, P52
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