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Regional cohesion: Evidence and theories of regional growth and convergence

  • Sala-i-Martin, Xavier X.

After arguing that the concepts of b-convergence and s-convergence are independently interesting, this paper extends the empirical evidence on regional growth and convergence across the United States, Japan, and five European nations. We confirm that the estimated speeds of convergence are surprisingly similar across data sets: regions tend to converge at a speed of approximately 2% per year. We also show that the inter-regional distribution of income in all countries has shrunk over time. We then argue that, among the proposed potential explanations of this phenomenon, the one-sector neoclassical growth model and the hypothesis of technological diffusion seem to be the only ones which survive scrutiny.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 40 (1996)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Pages: 1325-1352

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:40:y:1996:i:6:p:1325-1352
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  1. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
  2. Quah, Danny, 1993. "Galton's Fallacy and Tests of the Convergence Hypothesis," CEPR Discussion Papers 820, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Sergio Rebelo, 1999. "Long Run Policy Analysis and Long Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2114, David K. Levine.
  4. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Convergence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 223-51, April.
  6. T. W. Swan, 1956. "ECONOMIC GROWTH and CAPITAL ACCUMULATION," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(2), pages 334-361, November.
  7. Robert J. Barro & N. Gregory Mankiw & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1992. "Capital Mobility in Neoclassical Models of Growth," NBER Working Papers 4206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:107:y:1992:i:2:p:407-37 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1986. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," NBER Working Papers 1793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Robert J. Barro & Gary S. Becker, . "Fertility Choice in a Model of Economic Growth," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 88-8, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  11. Dolado, Juan J & Goria, Alessandra & Ichino, Andrea, 1994. "Immigration, Human Capital and Growth in the Host Country: Evidence from Pooled Country Data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 193-215.
  12. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  13. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:2:p:407-43 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Empirics for economic growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1353-1375, June.
  17. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:103:y:1988:i:1:p:1-25 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Etsuro Shioji, 1992. "Regional growth in Japan," Economics Working Papers 138, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 1995.
  19. repec:oup:qjecon:v:103:y:1988:i:1:p:1-25 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. repec:oup:qjecon:v:107:y:1992:i:2:p:407-37 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Coulombe, S. & Lee, F.C., 1993. "Regional Economic Disparities in Canada," Working Papers 9317e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  22. Friedman, Milton, 1992. "Do Old Fallacies Ever Die?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 2129-32, December.
  23. 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.
  24. repec:oup:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:2:p:407-43 is not listed on IDEAS
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