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Sigma Convergence Versus Beta Convergence: Evidence from U.S. County-Level Data

  • Andrew T. Young

    (Emory University)

  • Matthew J. Higgins

    (Emory University)

  • Daniel Levy


    (Bar-Ilan University and Emory University)

This note outlines (i) why σ-convergence may not accompany β-convergence; (ii) cites evidence of β-convergence in the U.S.; (iii) demonstrates that σ-convergence does not hold across the U.S., or within most U.S. states; and (iv) demonstrates the robustness of this finding to increases in mean income. The distributions of shocks appear important towards accounting for income disparity.

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Paper provided by Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2003-06.

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Date of creation: Sep 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2003-06
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  1. Matthew J. Higgins & Daniel Levy & Andrew T. Young, 2006. "Heterogeneous Convergence," Emory Economics 0615, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  2. Quah, Danny, 1993. "Galton's Fallacy and Tests of the Convergence Hypothesis," CEPR Discussion Papers 820, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Matthew Higgins & Daniel Levy & Andrew Young, 2003. "Growth and Convergence across the U.S.: Evidence from County-level Data," Emory Economics 0306, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  4. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1994. "Regional Cohesion: Evidence and Theories of Regional Growth and Convergence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1075, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Matthew Higgins & Daniel Levy & Andrew Young, 2004. "Heterogeneity in Convergence Rates and Income Determination across U.S. States: Evidence from County-level Data," Emory Economics 0401, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  6. Efthymios Tsionas, 2000. "Regional Growth and Convergence: Evidence from the United States," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(3), pages 231-238.
  7. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
  8. 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.
  9. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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