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Long-run Economic Growth: Stagnations and Explosions and the Middle Income Trap
Global Economy Journal (2016)
  • Robert C. Shelburne
This paper explores the empirics of long-run economic growth by studying
the pattern of growth for every country in the world between 1950 and 2015.
Special emphasis is placed on ascertaining how the pattern of growth has changed
over the last 65 years and how growth is related to the level of development. The
analysis identifies historical time periods when growth stagnated or exploded and
the levels of development where growth has a tendency to either stagnate or
explode. Studying these growth episodes provides a number of insights into the
question as to whether or not there is such a thing as a middle income trap.
Although there are economies at every level of development that have stagnated
for long periods, this study finds no evidence that this is systematically or uniquely
related to middle income economies. An additional point of emphasis of this study
is to highlight how the inclusion or exclusion of the former planned economies of
Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union affect these results; and likewise how China’s
exceptional performance affects these results. Generally it is found that because of
the size and extraordinary performance (both good and bad) of China and the
Economies in Transition (EiT), that excluding them from the sample has a quite
significant effect on estimates of global long-run growth and trends regarding
growth over time and by income level.

  • Keywords: economic growth,
  • middle income trap,
  • global development
Publication Date
Summer June 1, 2016
Citation Information
Robert C. Shelburne. "Long-run Economic Growth: Stagnations and Explosions and the Middle Income Trap" Global Economy Journal (2016)
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