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Social and institutional factors as determinants of economic growth: Evidence from the United States counties

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  • Anil Rupasingha
  • Stephan J. Goetz
  • David Freshwater

Abstract

In the search for explanations of persistent differences in economic growth rates, the conditional convergence growth model has introduced the possibility of incorporating a wide set of factors as determinants of growth. Controlling for spatial dependence, we assess the contribution of differences in social and institutional variables on growth rates of per capita income for counties in the United States. The empirical results indicate that, ceteris paribus, social and institutio variables explain some of the differences in convergence rates among counties. In particular, (i) ethnic diversity is associated with faster rates of economic growth; (ii) higher levels of income inequality are associated with lower rates; and (iii) higher levels of social capital have a positive effect on economic growth rates. Copyright Regional Science Association International (RSAI) Urbana, USA 2002

Suggested Citation

  • Anil Rupasingha & Stephan J. Goetz & David Freshwater, 2002. "Social and institutional factors as determinants of economic growth: Evidence from the United States counties," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 81(2), pages 139-155, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:reecde:v:81:y:2002:i:2:p:139-155
    DOI: 10.1007/s101100100091
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    Keywords

    JEL classification: O40; R11; Key words: Economic growth; ethnic diversity; income inequality; social capital; U.S. counties;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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