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Regional Disparities In Canada: Interprovincial Or Urban/Rural?


  • Pierre-Marcel DESJARDINS

    () (Université de Moncton)


The nature of regional disparities in Canada is analysed in this paper, with a focus on their interprovincial or urban/rural nature. Starting by presenting a traditional approach to regional disparities in Canada, we show that statistics indeed lead us to believe that there are important interprovincial disparities in Canada. Using the “Modified” Beale Codes approach which divides census divisions into more or less urban/rural categories, we then produce econometric results which again confirm the presence of inter-provincial disparities, but also of urban/rural disparities in Canada. If we test for the presence of interprovincial disparities amongst only similar census divisions rather than all census divisions, we arrive at the conclusion that a certain amount – but by no means all – regional disparities in Canada are indeed urban/rural disparities rather than interprovincial disparities and that these interprovincial disparities are less important than initially thought. Our results are very important for policy development. Principally, the fact that some provinces are lagging other in socio-economic measures may have more to do with the relative level of urbanity or rurality present in these provinces, rather than of better or worst policies, labour forces, entrepreneurial spirit, etc.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre-Marcel DESJARDINS, 2011. "Regional Disparities In Canada: Interprovincial Or Urban/Rural?," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 33, pages 59-80.
  • Handle: RePEc:tou:journl:v:33:y:2011:p:59-80

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    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy


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