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Multimodality in the distribution of GDP and the absolute convergence hypothesis

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  • Giovanni Caggiano

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  • Leone Leonida

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Abstract

This article shows that, contrary to common wisdom, the insurgence of a multiplicity of clusters in the distribution of income is not necessarily against the hypothesis of absolute convergence. Using data for the world economies, the US states, the EU regions, and the Italian regions, we find that despite the distribution of income per capita for both the world economies and for the Italian regions is multimodal, only in the former case absolute convergence can be rejected. Similarly, although the distributions for the EU regions and the US states are both unimodal, convergence is unambiguously taking place in the latter case only. We show that these results are consistent with the neoclassical model of growth in the presence of non-convexities in production. We conclude that polarization in the distribution of per capita incomes is neither a sufficient nor a necessary condition to reject the absolute convergence hypothesis. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Caggiano & Leone Leonida, 2013. "Multimodality in the distribution of GDP and the absolute convergence hypothesis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 1203-1215, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:44:y:2013:i:3:p:1203-1215
    DOI: 10.1007/s00181-012-0574-4
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    Cited by:

    1. Aiello, Francesco & Ricotta, Fernanda, 2014. "Firm heterogeneity in productivity across Europe. What explains what?," MPRA Paper 63234, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 25 Mar 2015.
    2. Francesco Aiello & Fernanda Ricotta, 2016. "Firm heterogeneity in productivity across Europe: evidence from multilevel models," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 57-89, January.
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    4. Weili Zhang & Wei Xu & Xiaoye Wang, 2019. "Regional convergence clubs in China: identification and conditioning factors," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 62(2), pages 327-350, April.
    5. Cartone, Alfredo & Postiglione, Paolo & Hewings, Geoffrey J.D., 2021. "Does economic convergence hold? A spatial quantile analysis on European regions," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 408-417.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Convergence; Neoclassical growth model; Income polarization; Non-parametric methods; C14; O40;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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