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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  1. Robert J. Barro, 1995. "Inflation and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
  3. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Convergence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 223-51, April.
  4. 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.
  5. Barro, Robert J, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-43, May.
  6. Quah, Danny, 1993. " Galton's Fallacy and Tests of the Convergence Hypothesis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 427-43, December.
  7. Barro, Robert J & Becker, Gary S, 1989. "Fertility Choice in a Model of Economic Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 481-501, March.
  8. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  9. Friedman, Milton, 1992. "Do Old Fallacies Ever Die?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 2129-32, December.
  10. 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.
  11. Etsuro Shioji, 1992. "Regional growth in Japan," Economics Working Papers 138, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 1995.
  12. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  13. T. W. Swan, 1956. "ECONOMIC GROWTH and CAPITAL ACCUMULATION," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(2), pages 334-361, November.
  14. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Empirics for economic growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1353-1375, June.
  15. 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.
  16. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, . "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 85-11, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  17. 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.
  18. Coulombe, S. & Lee, F.C., 1993. "Regional Economic Disparities in Canada," Working Papers 9317e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
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