IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Using Constrained Optimization for the Identification of Convergence Clubs

  • Paolo Postiglione


  • M. Andreano


  • Roberto Benedetti


In the last years a central issue in regional economic growth debate is represented by the convergence problem. Many empirical economists have noticed that per-worker GDP of poor regions tend to converge to those of richer regions. However more recently it has been observed that the economic convergence might not be achieved if, in the empirical analysis, we consider the entire data set as one sample. The phenomenon should be analyzed considering regions as belonging to different sub-samples with quite similar economy. Many authors refer to this hypothesis as economic convergence clubs. The definition of these homogeneous groups represents a crucial issue in many regional economic growth studies. The aim of this paper is to propose a method for the identification of convergence clubs for the European regions at NUTS 2 level. The econometric specification used is based on the classical, and spatial augmented version of the conditional β-convergence model. Two different optimization algorithms for the identification of convergence clubs are proposed and compared: Simulated Annealing and Iterated Conditional Modes. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Society for Computational Economics in its journal Computational Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 151-174

in new window

Handle: RePEc:kap:compec:v:42:y:2013:i:2:p:151-174
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1995. "The classical approach to convergence analysis," Economics Working Papers 117, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Galor, Oded, 2007. "Multiple growth regimes - Insights from unified growth theory," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 470-475, September.
  3. Damien Neven & Claudine Gouymte, 1995. "Regional Convergence in the European Community," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(1), pages 47-65, 03.
  4. Maria ABREU & Henri L.F. DE GROOT & Raymond J.G.M. FLORAX, 2005. "Space And Growth: A Survey Of Empirical Evidence And Methods," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 21, pages 13-44.
  5. Michele Battisti & Gianfranco Vaio, 2008. "A spatially filtered mixture of β-convergence regressions for EU regions, 1980–2002," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 203-203, February.
  6. David Wheeler & Catherine Calder, 2007. "An assessment of coefficient accuracy in linear regression models with spatially varying coefficients," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 145-166, June.
  7. Quah, Danny, 1996. "Regional Convergence Clusters Across Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 1286, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Cem Ertur & Wilfried Koch, 2005. "Growth, Technological Interdependence and Spatial Externalities - Theory and Evidence," ERSA conference papers ersa05p651, European Regional Science Association.
  9. Julie Le Gallo & Sandy Dall'Erba, 2006. "Evaluating the temporal and spatial heterogeneity of the European convergence process : 1980-1999," Post-Print hal-00485016, HAL.
  10. Wu, Lihua & Wang, Yuyun, 1998. "An Introduction to Simulated Annealing Algorithms for the Computation of Economic Equilibrium," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 12(2), pages 151-69, October.
  11. Peter C.B. Phillips & Donggyu Sul, 2007. "Transition Modeling and Econometric Convergence Tests," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1595, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  12. Fabio Canova, 2004. "Testing for Convergence Clubs in Income Per Capita: A Predictive Density Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(1), pages 49-77, 02.
  13. Bartkowska, Monika & Riedl, Aleksandra, 2012. "Regional convergence clubs in Europe: Identification and conditioning factors," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 22-31.
  14. J. Barkley Rosser, 2009. "Introduction," Chapters, in: Handbook of Research on Complexity, chapter 1 Edward Elgar.
  15. Maria Rita Sebastiani, 2003. "Markov random-field models for estimating local labour markets," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 52(2), pages 201-211.
  16. 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.
  17. Sergio Rey & Brett Montouri, 1999. "US Regional Income Convergence: A Spatial Econometric Perspective," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 143-156.
  18. Arbia, Giuseppe & Benedetti, Roberto & Espa, Giuseppe, 1999. "Contextual classification in image analysis: an assessment of accuracy of ICM," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 443-455, June.
  19. Goffe, William L & Ferrier, Gary D & Rogers, John, 1992. "Simulated Annealing: An Initial Application in Econometrics," Computer Science in Economics & Management, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 5(2), pages 133-46, May.
  20. 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.
  21. Sandy Dall'erba & Julie Le Gallo, 2008. "Regional convergence and the impact of European structural funds over 1989-1999: A spatial econometric analysis," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 219-244, 06.
  22. Postiglione, Paolo & Benedetti, Roberto & Lafratta, Giovanni, 2010. "A regression tree algorithm for the identification of convergence clubs," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 54(11), pages 2776-2785, November.
  23. Costas Megir & Danny Quah, 1996. "Regional Convergence Clusters Across Europe," CEP Discussion Papers dp0274, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  24. Goffe, William L. & Ferrier, Gary D. & Rogers, John, 1994. "Global optimization of statistical functions with simulated annealing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 65-99.
  25. Quah, Danny T, 1997. " Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 27-59, March.
  26. Galor, Oded, 1996. "Convergence? Inferences from Theoretical Models," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 1056-69, July.
  27. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  28. Gianfranco Piras & Paolo Postiglione & Patricio Aroca, 2012. "Specialization, R&D and productivity growth: evidence from EU regions," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 35-51, August.
  29. Dimitris Fouskakis & David Draper, 2002. "Stochastic Optimization: a Review," International Statistical Review, International Statistical Institute, vol. 70(3), pages 315-349, December.
  30. Nazrul Islam, 2003. "What have We Learnt from the Convergence Debate?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 309-362, 07.
  31. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Regional convergence clusters across Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 951-958, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:compec:v:42:y:2013:i:2:p:151-174. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.