Journal of Evolutionary Economics

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 209–227 | Cite as

An evolutionary model of long term cyclical variations of catching up and falling behind

  • Gerald Silverberg
  • Bart Verspagen
Global Economic Evolution: Knowledge Variety and Diffusion in Economic Growth and Development I Stylized and Simulated Long-Run Economic Development


We generalize a single-country model of endogenous growth to the case of a multi-country world economy in which technology transfer and behavioral imitation are the possible means of interaction between countries. The model is evolutionary in the sense that the economies are disaggregated by behaviourally heterogeneous firms, market selection occurs, and the innovation process is uncertain and stochastic. We demonstrate that this structure leads to a complex process of convergence and divergence over time that can be characterized as 1/f noise. Spectral analysis of measures of convergence for six core OECD countries in the period 1870–1989 reveals a similar pattern in the empirical data.

Key words

Economic Growth R&D Catching up Convergence Long waves 


O3 O4 N1 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald Silverberg
    • 1
  • Bart Verspagen
    • 1
  1. 1.MERITUniversity of LimburgMaastrichtThe Netherlands

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