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The dynamics of regional inequalities

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  • Salvador Barrios
  • Eric Strobl

Abstract

This paper analyses empirically the dynamics of regional inequalities in GDP per capita. Our starting hypothesis is that the evolution of regional inequalities should follow a bell-shaped curve depending on the level of national economic development. A number of authors going from Kuznets (1955) to Lucas (2000) have provided extensive theoretical arguments along this line suggesting that growth, because of its very nature, is unlikely to appear everywhere at the same time. Regional inequalities should then rise when countries start developing and then fall once a certain level of national economic development is reached as long as spillovers are strong enough to transmit growth and technological progress across regions. We test empirically these predictions by using regional data for a panel of European countries and by making use of semi-parametric estimation techniques. Our results provide strong support for a bell-shaped curve in the relationship between the national GDP per capita level and the extent of regional inequalities independently of the time period and regional administrative units considered. The nature of this non-monotonic relationship is not altered by the inclusion of other possible determinants of regional inequalities. A number of policy implications are derived from our results.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission in its series European Economy - Economic Papers with number 229.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0229

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Keywords: Kuznets curve; economic development; regional inequalities; Europe; Barrios; Strobl;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Lessmann, Christian, 2014. "Spatial inequality and development — Is there an inverted-U relationship?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 35-51.
  2. Morgenroth, Edgar & FitzGerald, John & FitzGerald, John, 2006. "Productive Sector," Book Chapters, in: Morgenroth, Edgar (ed.), Ex-Ante Evaluation of the Investment Priorities for the National Development Plan 2007-2013, chapter 20, pages 257-277 Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  3. Nicolov Mirela, 2012. "Regional Analysis Of Financial Resources Involved In Research Development And Innovation (Rdi) Sector In Romania In The Last Decade '"Study Done On Macroregions," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(2), pages 250-255, December.
  4. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2010. "Trade and regional inequality," Working Papers 2010-13, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
  5. Lessmann, Christian, 2013. "Foreign direct investment and regional inequality: A panel data analysis," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 129-149.
  6. Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2012. "The Political Economy of Distribution and Growth in Chile," Documentos de Trabajo 417, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  7. Diego Martínez López & Salvador Barrios, 2013. "Fiscal equalisation schemes and sub-central government borrowing," Working Papers. Serie EC 2013-03, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  8. Nicolov Mirela, 2012. "A Regional Study Of Financial Resources Involved In Rdi Sector In Romania In The Last Decade," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(2), pages 244-249, December.
  9. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Lafourcade, Miren & Thisse, Jacques-François & Toutain, Jean-Claude, 2008. "The Rise and Fall of Spatial Inequalities in France: a Long-Run Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 7017, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Pedro N. Rodríguez, & Simón Sosvilla-Rivero, 2006. "Understanding and Forecasting Stock Price Changes," Working Papers 2006-03, FEDEA.
  11. Zeng, Dao-Zhi & Uchikawa, Tomohiro, 2014. "Ubiquitous inequality: The home market effect in a multicountry space," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 225-233.
  12. Andrés J. Marchante Mera & Bienvenido Ortega Aguaza & José Sánchez Maldonado, 2006. "Las dimensiones del bienestar en las Comunidades Autónomas Españolas. Un análisis de Sigma y Gamma-Convergencia," Working Papers 2006-05, FEDEA.
  13. Goletsis, Y. & Chletsos, M., 2011. "Measurement of development and regional disparities in Greek periphery: A multivariate approach," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 174-183, December.
  14. Morgenroth, Edgar & FitzGerald, John & FitzGerald, John, 2006. "Summary and Conclusions," Book Chapters, in: Morgenroth, Edgar (ed.), Ex-Ante Evaluation of the Investment Priorities for the National Development Plan 2007-2013, chapter 24, pages 317-333 Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    • Baker, Terence J. & FitzGerald, John & Honohan, Patrick & FitzGerald, John & Honohan, Patrick, 1996. "Summary and Conclusions," Book Chapters, in: Baker, Terence J. (ed.), Economic Implications for Ireland of EMU, chapter 12, pages 339-352 Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

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