Why Are Some Countries Rich While Others Poor?

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Supervisor: Samuel Bonnyai Literature review Economists have been concerned about an important question for centuries: why are some countries rich while others poor. This is a question about economic growth. Take Korea for example. Korea had been divided into North and South Korea since 1948. These two countries share nearly the same geography, history and culture. However, the GDP per capita in the South Korea is only 3.22% of the South Korea. Another phenomenon is that the rapid growth had been observed in East Asian in recent years. This is another key economic issue: whether the growth rate of poor economics are higher than developed ones and which kind of factors lead to the convergence over time? (Barro and Sala-i-Martin, 1990). In most cases, the economic growth is defined as the amount of output (GDP or GDP per capita) that increases in an economy over time while the convergence refers to the poor economies coming up with the developed ones (Quah, 1996). As an important and popular issue in the field of economic research, it attracts many economists and there are many models to explain economic growth. In 1776, Adam Smith pointed out that the growth of a country is mainly due to labor, capital accumulation and technology progress. Ricardo comes up with the law of diminishing returns in 1817 and states that the diminishing marginal returns will be the reason to stop the economic growth of a country eventually. In the history of the development of economic growth
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