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Convergence and divergence across Italian regions

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  • Marinella Terrasi

    () (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, UniversitÁ degli Studi di Pisa, Via C. Ridolfi 10, I-56124 Pisa, Italy)

Abstract

This paper aims at showing the relevance of the Italian experience to the current debate on regional convergence. Regional convergence of per capita GDP in Italy is analyzed for the period 1953-1993 using the Theil coefficient of concentration and a relationship with the process of national economic development is postulated. Two different phases are distinguished, with 1975 serving as a break-point. Different kinds of disaggregation of regional inequality are attempted and a separation index for groups of regions is calculated. The general conclusion is that after a period of strong convergence, which was limited to the years 1960-1975, the process of regional convergence stopped in Italy and since then a long-term tendency towards divergence has been verified. Both the process of national development and spatial factors are shown to have played an important role in the convergence process, suggesting that the identification of appropriate temporal and spatial disaggregation is a necessary condition in order to understand the regional growth process.

Suggested Citation

  • Marinella Terrasi, 1999. "Convergence and divergence across Italian regions," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 33(4), pages 491-510.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:33:y:1999:i:4:p:491-510
    Note: Received: October 1996/Accepted: March 1998
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