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Regional disparities in Sri Lanka: an empirical analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Deeptha Wijerathna

    (corresponding author, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, Griffith University, Australia)

  • Jayatilleke S. Bandara

    (Associate Professor, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, Griffith University, Australia)

  • Christine Smith

    (Professor, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, Griffith University, Australia)

  • Athula Naranpanawa

    (PhD, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, Griffith University, Australia)

Abstract

To effectively implement the proposed United Nations development agenda beyond 2015, Governments will need to focus on reducing inequality in their national planning strategies. In order to provide an evidence base for such planning in the Sri Lankan context, a systematic and comprehensive analysis on regional inequality is required. The present study begins to undertake this type of analysis using summary sigma convergence statistics, such as the coefficient of variation, the Gini coefficient and mean deviation scores. Regional gross domestic product (GDP) per capita data for the period 1996 to 2011 reveal that inequality with respect to this welfare indicator is considerable. Analysis of trends, over this 16-year period, indicates that while some beta convergence has occurred since 2000, this convergence (both conditional and unconditional) is not statistically significant. Indeed, the results suggest that based on current trends, it will take 15 years to halve the current inequality and about 30 years to achieve a regionally balanced economy. In this context, well-planned regionally inclusive development strategies are needed in order for Sri Lanka to move forward, especially since the current levels of regional disparity are argued by some to have contributed to the civil unrest and conflict that led to a reduction in national economic development over the three decades to 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Deeptha Wijerathna & Jayatilleke S. Bandara & Christine Smith & Athula Naranpanawa, 2014. "Regional disparities in Sri Lanka: an empirical analysis," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 21(2), pages 77-102, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:unt:jnapdj:v:21:y:2014:i:2:p:77-102
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    File URL: http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/5-Part4-Wijerathana.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:taf:specan:v:13:y:2018:i:1:p:36-59 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Gluschenko, Konstantin, 2015. "‘Williamson’s Fallacy’ in Estimation of Inter-Regional Inequality," MPRA Paper 71075, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 03 May 2016.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic disparity; regions; inequality; convergence; divergence; Sri Lanka.;

    JEL classification:

    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • 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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