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A Time Series Test of Regional Convergence in the USA with Dynamic Panel Models, 1972-1998

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  • Sedgley, N.

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  • Elmslie, B.
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    Abstract

    A good deal of controversy surrounds the empirical regularity of convergence. If capital’s share is taken to be 1/3, as in national accounts, then convergence should occur at a much faster rate than observed. Problems are worse if the economy is open. With perfect capital mobility convergence should occur at an infinite rate. Convergence estimates appear to be as slow for state economies as for national economies, even though the assumption of perfect capital mobility is a closer approximation of reality for these economies. Some argue that other variables, most prominently human capital, must be included in any cross sectional estimation of convergence. Supposedly, this addition of variables can bring the implied rate of convergence in line with empirical estimates by controlling for differences in the steady state level of per capita income. This paper extends the analysis of Islam (1995) to US states by estimating dynamic panel data models. This is a more appropriate method of allowing for different steady states. We find that the data suggests states converge very quickly, implying a high degree of capital mobility, if each state economy is allowed to have its own steady state captured through its own fixed effect. These results demonstrate the pitfalls of applying closed economy models to study growth in very open economies and the dangers of adding variables to the estimation which have, at best, only a weak relationship to differential steady states.

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    Article provided by Euro-American Association of Economic Development in its journal Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies.

    Volume (Year): 4 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:eaa:eerese:v:4:y2004:i:4_8

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    Related research

    Keywords: Convergence; Time Series Analysis; Regional Growth;

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    1. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
    2. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 1993. "Solow and States: Capital Accumulation, Productivity, and Economic Growth," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(4), pages 425-39, December.
    3. Daniel Cohen & Jeffrey Sachs, 1991. "Growth and External Debt Under Risk of Debt Repudiation," NBER Chapters, in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 437-472 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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