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Les provinces canadiennes et la convergence : une evaluation empirique

  • Mario Lefebvre

    (Bank of Canada)

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    This paper examines whether the hypothesis of economic convergence holds for the Canadian provinces. Using data on real gross domestic product per capita and on factor productivity from 1966 to 1992, the paper shows, using two different methods, that the convergence hypothesis cannot be rejected. This evidence supports the findings of other authors who have studied convergence among Canadian provinces. The first method estimates the relationship between the average growth rate in real per capita GDP and its initial level. In part because of the classic problem of regression towards the mean, it has been argued that this method is not suitable for testing the convergence hypothesis. The second method examines the trend in gaps in real per capita GDP and productivity between the richest provinces and the other provinces. It is the use of this method that distinguishes our work from previous studies, since it allows us not only to avoid some of the criticisms mentioned above, but also to examine developments in each province separately. Cette etude a pour but de determiner si l'hypothese de convergence economique s'applique aux provinces canadiennes. En utilisant les donnees du produit interieur brut reel par habitant et de la productivite des facteurs de production entre 1966 et 1992, l'etude montre, a l'aide de deux methodes distinctes, que l'on ne peut rejeter cette hypothese. Ce resultat confirme les conclusions auxquelles sont parvenus d'autres auteurs qui ont examine le phenomene de la convergence entre les provinces canadiennes. La premiere methode utilisee consiste a estimer la relation qui existe entre la croissance moyenne et le niveau initial du PIB reel par habitant. Se fondant entre autres sur le probleme classique du retour a la moyenne, certains chercheurs ont reproche a cette methode de ne pas tester adequatement l'hypothese de la convergence. La deuxieme methode, quant a elle, consiste a examiner la tendance des ecarts observes entre, d'une part, le niveau du PIB reel par habitant et de la productivite dans les provinces les plus riches et, d'autre part, le niveau de chacune de ces deux variables dans les autres provinces. L'etude se distingue de celles qui ont ete realisees jusqu'ici sur le sujet par l'utilisation de la deuxieme methode, qui, en plus de contourner les critiques mentionnees ci-dessus, nous a permis d'examiner separement le comportement de chaque province.

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    Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Working Papers with number 94-10.

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    Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:94-10
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    1. Barro, R.J. & Sala-I-Martin, X., 1991. "Convergence Across States and Regions," Papers 629, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    2. Gerald Carlino & Leonard Mills, 1990. "Persistence and convergence in relative regional incomes," Working Papers 90-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    3. Friedman, Milton, 1992. "Do Old Fallacies Ever Die?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 2129-32, December.
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    5. Carlino, Gerald & Mills, Leonard, 1996. "Are U.S. regional incomes converging? Reply," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 599-601, December.
    6. Marvin McInnis, 1968. "The Trend of Regional Income Differentials in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 1(2), pages 440-470, May.
    7. Baumol, William J & Wolff, Edward N, 1988. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1155-59, December.
    8. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1990. "Economic Growth and Convergence across The United States," NBER Working Papers 3419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
    11. Andrew B. Bernard & Steven N. Durlauf, 1991. "Convergence of International Output Movements," NBER Working Papers 3717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. John F. Helliwell, 1996. "Convergence and Migration among Provinces," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(s1), pages 324-30, April.
    13. Coulombe, S. & Lee, F.C., 1993. "Regional Economic Disparities in Canada," Working Papers 9317e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    14. Baumol, William J, 1986. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: What the Long-run Data Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1072-85, December.
    15. Quah, Danny, 1993. " Galton's Fallacy and Tests of the Convergence Hypothesis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 427-43, December.
    16. Dowrick, Steve & Nguyen, Duc-Tho, 1989. "OECD Comparative Economic Growth 1950-85: Catch-Up and Convergence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1010-30, December.
    17. Lee, F.C. & Coulombe, S., 1993. "Regional Productivity Convergence in Canada," Working Papers 9318e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    18. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521453455 is not listed on IDEAS
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