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Sigma Convergence versus Beta Convergence: Evidence from U.S. County-Level Data

  • ANDREW T. YOUNG
  • MATTHEW J. HIGGINS
  • DANIEL LEVY

In this paper, we outline (i) why σ-convergence may not accompany β-convergence, (ii) discuss evidence of β-convergence in the United States, and (iii) use U.S. county-level data containing over 3,000 cross-sectional observations to demonstrate that σ-convergence cannot be detected at the county level across the United States, or within the large majority of the individual U.S. states considered separately. Indeed, in many cases statistically significant σ-"divergence" is found. Copyright (c) 2008 The Ohio State University.

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Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 40 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (08)
Pages: 1083-1093

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:40:y:2008:i:5:p:1083-1093
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  1. Andrew Young & Matthew Higgins & Daniel Levy, 2004. "Heterogeneity in Convergence Rates and Income Determination across U.S. States: Evidence from County-Level Data," Development and Comp Systems 0402003, EconWPA.
  2. Matthew J. Higgins & Daniel Levy & Andrew T. Young, 2005. "Growth and Convergence across the US: Evidence from County-Level Data," Working Papers 2005-06, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Andrew T. Young & Matthew J. Higgins & Daniel Levy, 2011. "Heterogeneous Convergence," Working Paper Series 18_11, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  5. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1994. "Regional cohesion: Evidence and theories of regional growth and convergence," Economics Working Papers 104, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  6. Efthymios Tsionas, 2000. "Regional Growth and Convergence: Evidence from the United States," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(3), pages 231-238.
  7. 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.
  8. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
  9. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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