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Diskussionspapiere - Hannover Economic Papers (HEP)

Peaks vs. Components

Autor: Sebastian Vollmer, Hajo Holzmann and Florian Schwaiger
Nummer: 452, Jul 2010, pp. 17
JEL-Class: C12, O11, O47, F01

We analyze the cross-national distribution of GDP per capita and its evo- lution from 1970 to 2009. We argue that peaks are not a suitable measure for distinct convergence clubs/equilibria in the cross-country distribution of GDP per capita, because the number of peaks is not invariant under non- linear strictly monotonic transformations of the data such as the logarithmic transformation. Instead, we model the distribution as a finite mixture, and determine its number of components via statistical testing. We find that the number of components in the cross-country distribution changes from three to two in the mid 1990s.


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