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The endogeneity of the natural rate of growth in the regions of Italy

  • Matteo Lanzafame

Following Leon-Ledesma and Thirlwall (2002a), this paper examines the hypothesis that the natural rate of growth of the Italian regions is endogenous to and positively affected by the actual growth rate. Relying on fixed-effects and SUR estimation techniques and using annual data for the 20 Italian regions over the period 1977-2003, we find strong support for the endogeneity hypothesis suggesting that faster actual growth raises the natural rate of growth of the average Italian region by about 3-3.7 percentage points. Furthermore, in line with recent findings in the literature, our analysis provides evidence of asymmetries in Okun's Law. In particular, the asymmetric Okun coefficient in the high-growth regime turns out to be positive in several cases, implying the unemployment rate may become pro-cyclical when actual growth rises above a certain threshold rate.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Review of Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 24 (2010)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 533-552

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Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:24:y:2010:i:5:p:533-552
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  1. Blackburn, Keith, 1999. "Can Stabilisation Policy Reduce Long-Run Growth?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 67-77, January.
  2. Hansen, Bruce E., 1999. "Threshold effects in non-dynamic panels: Estimation, testing, and inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 345-368, December.
  3. Miguel Leon-Ledesma & Anthony P. Thirlwall, 2000. "Is the natural rate of growth exogenous?," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 53(215), pages 433-445.
  4. Miguel A. León-Ledesma & A. P. Thirlwall, 1998. "The Endogeneity of the Natural Rate of Growth," Studies in Economics 9821, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  5. Perron, P., 1994. "Further Evidence on Breaking Trend Functions in Macroeconomic Variables," Cahiers de recherche 9421, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  6. Attfield, Clifford L. F. & Silverstone, Brian, 1998. "Okun's Law, Cointegration and Gap Variables," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 625-637, July.
  7. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  8. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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