October 23rd, 2010

forums, me, non blog

[FORUM] Do you think the world will develop economically to the same level?

For a change, let's have a [FORUM] post in the morning!

In the comments to yesterday's link post to my Demography Matters post on the inevitable need for immigrants in relatively well-off countries to do jobs that the native-born won't like, mindstalk wondered what would happen when incomes worldwide converged and that major--dominant?--incentive for migration diminished.

I don't think that's going to happen. In large continent-sized polities--the United States, the European Union and its larger member-states, China, India, Brazil--income disparities between regions have remained more-or-less stuck at the same levels, with broad disparities remaining. Coastal China remains much richer than the interior; southern and western India has an advantage over the rest of the country; southern Brazil arguably bears more in common with Southern Cone countries like Argentina than with the northeast. These divisions have persisted, and continue to grow.

If this is the case within polities which are culturally quite homogeneous, how much more so will it be in a very heterogenous world? Convergence is a rare enough phenomenon, within and between countries.

What think you?