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Does Evidence on Regional Economic Convergence Depend on the Estimation Strategy? Outcomes from Analysis of a Set of NUTS2 EU Regions

  • Giuseppe Arbia
  • Julie Le Gallo
  • Gianfranco Piras

Abstract The regional economic convergence/divergence issue has been discussed extensively recently, but results obtained are not always interpretable unequivocally as a consequence of the different estimation strategies used. As it is widely recognized, the most common theoretical framework applied to measure the speed of economic convergence among countries or regions remains the β-convergence approach, linked to the neoclassical Solow model. There have been many attempts to consider variations of the basic cross-sectional specification ranging from panel data models to Bayesian spatial econometric techniques. The application of spatial econometric methodologies is an essential tool for proper statistical inference on regional data. In this context, the aim of this paper is to connect the different results obtained in the literature. More specifically, we address whether or not evidence on convergence depends upon the estimation strategy, by taking the same set of data and systematically comparing the results obtained from different estimation strategies. The results from a set of NUTS2 EU regions conclude that both the model implied by the cross-sectional analysis and the one referring to the space-time dynamics incorporated in the panel specification point to convergence. The concept of convergence implied is, however, quite different, as demonstrated throughout the paper.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Spatial Economic Analysis.

Volume (Year): 3 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 209-224

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Handle: RePEc:taf:specan:v:3:y:2008:i:2:p:209-224
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