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Is Internal Migration Relevant to Regional Convergence? Comparative Analysis Across Five European Countries

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  • Daniela Bunea

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    (The Bucharest University of Economic Studies)

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    Abstract

    This paper carries out a comparative analysis across five European countries of the impact of internal migration on regional income convergence process at NUTS 2 level. Convergence can be defined as the process by which poorer regions catch up richer regions and, as a consequence, regional disparities decrease. The phenomenon is appreciated using the concepts of sigma- and beta-convergence. Theoretically, human migration is one vital adjustment mechanism of regional disequilibria which contributes to enhancing convergence. The study uses the methodology of two-way fixed effects panel data model and its main results point out at sigma-divergence in income evolution in Hungary and Romania and at sigma-convergence trends in Austria, Spain and rather constancy in Sweden. Instead, all countries but for Sweden exhibited beta-convergence. Hungary, Sweden and Spain recorded relatively higher gross migration rates. But despite this fact, internal migration’s impact on beta-convergence was quite small (Romania and Spain) or inexistent (Austria, Hungary and Sweden).

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Romanian Regional Science Association in its journal Romanian Journal of Regional Science.

    Volume (Year): 6 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 (DECEMBER)
    Pages: 53-72

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    Handle: RePEc:rrs:journl:v:6:y:2012:i:2:p:53-72

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    Web page: http://www.rrsa.ro

    Related research

    Keywords: convergence; internal migration; fixed-effects panel data; spatial dependence; comparative study;

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    References

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    1. Giuseppe Arbia & Roberto Basile & Gianfranco Piras, 2005. "Using Spatial Panel Data in Modelling Regional Growth and Convergence," ISAE Working Papers 55, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
    2. Stein �stbye & Olle Westerlund, 2007. "Is Migration Important for Regional Convergence? Comparative Evidence for Norwegian and Swedish Counties, 1980-2000," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(7), pages 901-915.
    3. Michael Pfaffermayr, 2007. "Conditional Beta- and Sigma-Convergence in Space: A Maximum Likelihood Approach," Working Papers 2007-17, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    4. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
    5. Bernard, Andrew B. & Durlauf, Steven N., 1996. "Interpreting tests of the convergence hypothesis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1-2), pages 161-173.
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    7. María Hierro & Adolfo Maza, 2010. "Per capita income convergence and internal migration in Spain: Are foreign-born migrants playing an important role?," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(1), pages 89-107, 03.
    8. Friedman, Milton, 1992. "Do Old Fallacies Ever Die?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 2129-32, December.
    9. Etzo, Ivan, 2008. "Internal migration and growth in Italy," MPRA Paper 8642, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    11. Quah, Danny, 1993. " Galton's Fallacy and Tests of the Convergence Hypothesis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 427-43, December.
    12. Niebuhr, Annekatrin, 2000. "Convergence and the effects of spatial interaction," HWWA Discussion Papers 110, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
    13. Baumol, William J, 1986. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: What the Long-run Data Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1072-85, December.
    14. Maurer, Rainer, 1995. "OLS-Estimation of conditional and unconditional sigma- and beta-convergence of per capita income: Implications of Solow-Swan and Ramsey-Cass models," Kiel Working Papers 698, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    15. Chatterji, Monojit, 1992. "Convergence Clubs and Endogenous Growth," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(4), pages 57-69, Winter.
    16. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1991. "Convergence across States and Regions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 107-182.
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