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A spatial analysis of incomes and institutional quality: evidence from US metropolitan areas

Listed author(s):
  • BOLOGNA, JAMIE
  • YOUNG, ANDREW T.
  • LACOMBE, DONALD J.

We use the Stansel (2013) metropolitan area economic freedom index and 25 conditioning variables to analyze the spatial relationships between institutional quality and economic outcomes across 381 U.S. metropolitan areas. Specifically, we allow for spatial dependence in both the dependent and independent variables and estimate how economic freedom impacts both per-capita income growth and per-capita income levels. We find that while economic freedom and income levels are directly and positively related, increases in economic freedom in one area result in negative indirect effects on income levels in surrounding areas. In addition, we find that economic freedom has an insignificant relationship with economic growth.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Journal of Institutional Economics.

Volume (Year): 12 (2016)
Issue (Month): 01 (March)
Pages: 191-216

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jinsec:v:12:y:2016:i:01:p:191-216_00
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  1. Jan-Egbert Sturm & Jakob De Haan, 2001. "How robust is the relationship between economic freedom and economic growth?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(7), pages 839-844.
  2. Arbia, Giuseppe & Battisti, Michele & Di Vaio, Gianfranco, 2010. "Institutions and geography: Empirical test of spatial growth models for European regions," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 12-21, January.
  3. Young, Andrew T. & Higgins, Matthew J. & Levy, Daniel, 2013. "Heterogeneous convergence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 238-241.
  4. Matthew Higgins & Andrew Young & Daniel Levy, 2009. "Federal, state, and local governments: evaluating their separate roles in US growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(3), pages 493-507, June.
  5. Steven F. Kreft & Russell S. Sobel, 2005. "Public Policy, Entrepreneurship, And Economic Freedom," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 25(3), pages 595-616, Fall.
  6. Matthew J. Higgins & Andrew T. Young & Daniel Levy, 2010. "Robust correlates of county-level growth in the United States," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 293-296, February.
  7. de Haan, Jakob & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2000. "On the relationship between economic freedom and economic growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 215-241, June.
  8. Thomas A. Garrett & Russell M. Rhine, 2011. "Economic freedom and employment growth in U.S. states," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 1-18.
  9. Luisa Corrado & Bernard Fingleton, 2012. "Where Is The Economics In Spatial Econometrics?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 210-239, 05.
  10. Matthew Higgins & Daniel Levy & Andrew Young, 2003. "Growth and Convergence across the U.S.: Evidence from County-level Data," Emory Economics 0306, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  11. Joshua C. Hall & Robert A. Lawson, 2014. "Economic Freedom Of The World: An Accounting Of The Literature," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(1), pages 1-19, 01.
  12. James D. Gwartney & Robert A. Lawson & Randall G. Holcombe, 1999. "Economic Freedom and the Environment for Economic Growth," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(4), pages 643-643, December.
  13. Dawson, John W, 1998. "Institutions, Investment, and Growth: New Cross-Country and Panel Data Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 603-619, October.
  14. Ahmad, Mahyudin & Hall, Stephen G., 2012. "Institutions-growth spatial dependence: An empirical test," MPRA Paper 42360, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. J. Elhorst, 2010. "Applied Spatial Econometrics: Raising the Bar," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 9-28.
  16. Lundstrom, Susanna, 2005. "The effect of democracy on different categories of economic freedom," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 967-980, December.
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