Econ 205 Fall 2021
During our discussion of economic growth, we introduced the concept of “economic
convergence” which stated that poor, less developed countries should grow at a faster rate
relative to the wealthy, developed countries. This will result in a convergence of the standard
of living between the less developed and developed countries as, over a long period, the faster
growing less developed countries’ standard of living catches up to the developed countries.
However, when the data was analyzed, it showed that this convergence may not be automatic
as there were countries that did catch up while others did not. This led to the discussion of the
“conditional convergence” which clarifies that the convergence will only occur if certain
economic conditions crucial to economic development are met, as some of you had clarified for
For this assignment, you will collect for a pair of countries (choice of country pairs are in the
Table A below) and use the data to come to a position on whether:
You agree with the concept of “economic convergence” or
You do not agree .
If you agree that the convergence has occurred, then you will explain what one condition was
met that allowed for the conditional convergence to occur between your selected pair of
countries. On the other hand, after evaluating the data if you conclude that the convergence
did not occur, then explain at least one condition that was not met in order for the conditional
convergence to occur.
Table A: Country Pairs
Germany, Cameroun U.K., Jamaica
Netherlands, Indonesia U.S., Philippines
U.K., Singapore Germany, Poland
Spain, Mexico France, Haiti
Spain, Argentina France, Vietnam
Belgium, Congo Finland, Russia
Japan, Korea U.K., South Africa
Econ 205 Fall 2021
Begin your paper with a brief introduction of your two countries: location, current and past
political situation, etc. and indicate whether you think there is a specific relationship between
your chosen pair of countries.
You will need to collect a “matched” series of data for the two countries. Think what data
series would be suitable when comparing the “standard of living” of two countries over time.
You will use your collected data to conclude whether the convergence has occurred or is
occurring or not. This data should date back from the 1970s to the present – 50 years or so
worth of annual data should be sufficient to determine convergence.
You will need to present your collected data in a diagram or table that will help you to make
your conclusion and persuade your reader to see how you reached your conclusion. In other
words, do not just present your diagram or table – explain it to your reader.
You will list and discuss one “condition” (usually there are many) that allowed the convergence
to occur. Again, persuade the reader that this was that one vital ingredient that led to the rapid
development of the poor country.
Or, if you concluded that the convergence did not occur, list and discuss one “condition”
(among many) that could have resulted in the convergence between these two countries.
Can you think of a way to use (additional) data to convince your reader? Is that data
available? Can you collect it and show it?
You will make your case in three pages (text only – tables and figures do not count towards the
And finally, your paper should have a Reference section. You will list the full reference of your
data sources here, in addition to briefly giving the source credit at the bottom of your table or
C. How and When to submit
You will submit your paper (in Word format only) to TWO locations:
Through the Blackboard Safeassign link within the “Position Paper” folder in the
Assignment section. Please note that you can check your Safeassign score prior to
submission. If the score indicates possibility of plagiarism, you are encouraged to edit
your paper and then submit.
After submitting to the Blackboard, you will submit the paper (same file format as
above) to the Chalk and Wire assignment link that is also in the “Position Paper” folder.
This paper is due by the end of the day on Suday, December 5, 2021.
Econ 205 Fall 2021
D. Data Sources
While there are many sources of economic data, when it comes to the real GDP per capita and
other relevant economic data, there are three free data sources worth checking out (in order of
1. Penn World Tables
i. It would be best to download the Excel version, open it in Excel, and copy the
relevant data to your own (newly created) spreadsheet.
ii. Be sure to read the “Info” and “Legend” worksheets before diving into the
iii. Note that the Expenditure-side real GDP (rgdpe) best describes the standard of
living. Note the base year of the price index used. Using that data and the
population, you can calculate the real GDP per capita.
2. World Development Indicators (WDI): Available through Hood College’s library database
3. FRED Database: Most familiar to you but the data may not be available for all of your