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Returns To Scale And Regional Growth: The Static-Dynamic Verdoorn Law Paradox Revisited

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  • John S. L. McCombie
  • Mark Roberts

Abstract

It has long been an article of faith amongst regional economists that increasing returns to scale are necessary to explain the punctiform location of economic activity and population. However, there is no consensus in the empirical literature over whether returns to scale are constant or increasing. A notable example of this lack of agreement is provided by the static-dynamic Verdoorn law paradox. While the dynamic Verdoorn law (specified using growth rates) yields estimates of substantial increasing returns to scale, the static Verdoorn law (specified using log-levels) indicates only the presence of constant returns to scale. In this paper, we explain the static-dynamic Verdoorn law paradox by showing that estimates of returns to scale obtained using the static law are subject to a spatial aggregation bias, which biases the estimates towards constant returns to scale. We illustrate our arguments by means of simulation exercises. The results obtained hold general lessons for applied economic analysis using spatial data. Copyright Blackwell Publishing, Inc. 2007

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  • John S. L. McCombie & Mark Roberts, 2007. "Returns To Scale And Regional Growth: The Static-Dynamic Verdoorn Law Paradox Revisited," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 179-208.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jregsc:v:47:y:2007:i:2:p:179-208
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Harris, 2011. "Models Of Regional Growth: Past, Present And Future," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(5), pages 913-951, December.
    2. Giorgio Fazio & Enza Maltese & Davide Piacentino, 2013. "Estimating Verdoorn law for Italian firms and regions," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 45-54, March.
    3. Millemaci, Emanuele & Ofria, Ferdinando, 2016. "Supply and demand-side determinants of productivity growth in Italian regions," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 138-146.
    4. Andrew Sharpe & Eric Thomson, 2010. "Insights into Canada’s Abysmal Post-2000 Productivity Performance from Decompositions of Labour Productivity Growth by Industry and Province," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 20, pages 48-67, Fall.
    5. Christine Carton Madura, 2009. "Mecanismos kaldorianos del crecimiento regional: Aplicación empírica al caso del ALADI (1980-2007)," Economic Analysis Working Papers (2002-2010). Atlantic Review of Economics (2011-2016), Colexio de Economistas de A Coruña, Spain and Fundación Una Galicia Moderna, vol. 8, pages 1-24, May.
    6. Emanuele Millemaci & Ferdinando Ofria, 2014. "Kaldor-Verdoorn's law and increasing returns to scale: A comparison across developed countries," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 41(1), pages 140-162, January.
    7. Jesus Felipe & John McCombie, 2012. "Problems with Regional Production Functions and Estimates of Agglomeration Economies: A Caveat Emptor for Regional Scientists," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_725, Levy Economics Institute.
    8. Alvaro Angeriz & John McCombie & Mark Roberts, 2008. "Returns to Scale for EU Regional Manufacturing," Working Papers 20, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    9. Concetta Castiglione, 2011. "Verdoorn-Kaldor’s Law: an empirical analysis with time series data in the United States," Advances in Management and Applied Economics, SCIENPRESS Ltd, vol. 1(3), pages 1-8.
    10. Ugo Fratesi, 2010. "Regional innovation and competitiveness in a dynamic representation," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 515-552, August.
    11. Ferdinando Ofria, 2009. "L'approccio Kaldor-Verdoorn: una verifica empirica per il Centro-Nord e il Mezzogiorno d'Italia (anni 1951-2006)," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 1, pages 179-207, January-M.
    12. Giorgio Fazio & Enza Maltese & Davide Piacentino, 2014. "The verdoorn law at the regional level: evidence from europe," RIVISTA DI ECONOMIA E STATISTICA DEL TERRITORIO, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(2), pages 34-47.
    13. Miguel A. León-Ledesma & Matteo Lanzafame, 2010. "The Endogenous Nature of the ‘Natural’ Rate of Growth," Chapters,in: Handbook of Alternative Theories of Economic Growth, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. João Prates Romero, 2016. "Increasing Returns To Scale, Technological Catch-Up And Research Intensity: An Industry-Level Investigation Combining Eu Klems Productivity Data With Patent Data," Anais do XLIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 43rd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 102, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    15. Kim, Man-Keun & Harris, Thomas R., 2008. "An Efficiency Analysis of Nevada and Utah Counties: Region Size Leads Regional Efficiency," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6338, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    16. Guilherme Riccioppo Magacho, 2016. "Estimating Kaldor-Verdoorn’S Law Across Countries In Different Stages Of Development," Anais do XLII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 42ndd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 140, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    17. repec:bla:growch:v:48:y:2017:i:1:p:40-60 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Piacentini, Paolo & Prezioso, Stefano & Testa, Giuseppina, 2015. "Effects of fiscal policy in the North and South of Italy," MPRA Paper 62372, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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