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Regional Growth and Migration: A Japan-U.S. Comparison

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  • Robert J. Barro
  • Xavier Sala-i-Martin

Abstract

Do poor economies grow faster than rich ones? This important economic question (which we call [beta]-convergence) is analyzed in this paper using two regional data sets: 47 Prefectures in Japan and 48 States of the U.S.. We find clear evidence of convergence in both countries: poor prefectures and states grow faster. We also find that there is intraregional as well as interregional convergence. We analyze the cross sectional standard deviation across prefectures and states. We find that in both countries there has been a long term decline (a phenomenon that we call [sigma]-convergence). Finally we study the determinants of the rates of regional in-migration and, again. find striking similarities. In both countries, the reaction of net in-migration rates to the log of initial income is slightly above .025, which indicates a slow (although very significant) speed of population adjustment to income differentials. We find little evidence in favor of the argument that population movements are the reason why we find convergence across economies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4038.

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Date of creation: Mar 1992
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Publication status: published as "Regional Growth and Migration: a Japan-U.S. Comparison," Japan and the World Economy, 1992 (with X. Sala-i-Martin).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4038

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  1. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1992. "Transitional Dynamics in Two-Sector Models of Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 3986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Maddison, Angus, 1987. "Growth and Slowdown in Advanced Capitalist Economies: Techniques of Quantitative Assessment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 649-98, June.
  3. Robert J. Barro & N. Gregory Mankiw & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1994. "Capital mobility in Neoclassical models of growth," Economics Working Papers 82, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. 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.
  5. Jorgenson, Dale W & Yun, Kun-Young, 1986. " Tax Policy and Capital Allocation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(2), pages 355-77.
  6. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Convergence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 223-51, April.
  7. Henderson, J. Vernon, 1991. "Urban Development: Theory, Fact, and Illusion," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780195069020, October.
  8. Jorgenson, Dale W & Yun, Kun-Young, 1990. "Tax Reform and U.S. Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S151-93, October.
  9. Mueser Peter R. & Graves Philip E., 1995. "Examining the Role of Economic Opportunity and Amenities in Explaining Population Redistribution," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 176-200, March.
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