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Is dualism still a source of convergence in Europe?

  • R. Paci

    ()

  • F. Pigliaru

    ()

This paper aims at assessing whether dualistic mechanisms represent a significant component of the aggregate labour productivity convergence observed across the European regions in the 1980s. The potential of an explanation of convergence based – in part, at least – on the existence of dualism in some of the initially poorer regions has been largely ignored by the literature. We use a dualistic model based on Dixit (1970) and on Mas-Colell and Razin (1973) to obtain hypotheses to be tested in cross-region growth regressions. In particular, we wish to test whether a high initial allocation of labour in agriculture in fact generates -- in each sector as well as at the aggregate level -- the specific impact on productivity growth (and therefore on convergence) implied by the theory of the dual economy. We use the data-base Regio-Eu set up by CRENoS, with aggregate and sectoral data for 109 territorial units from 1980 to 1990. Our cross-section results are consistent with the major predictions of the dualistic model. While part of the influence exerted by dualistic mechanisms is not easily distinguishable from the one exerted by other mechanisms such as technology diffusion, still the former appears to be a significant component of the whole process of convergence. Ignoring such component could lead to misleading interpretations of the relative roles played by each of the forces behind the process, and to inexact assessments of what actions should be taken – if any – by the European regional policy to help the process become more pervasive.

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Paper provided by Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia in its series Working Paper CRENoS with number 199705.

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Date of creation: 1997
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Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:199705
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  1. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1991. "Convergence across States and Regions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 107-182.
  3. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Convergence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 223-51, April.
  4. Fagerberg, Jan, 1995. "Convergence or Divergence? The Impact of Technology on "Why Growth Rates Differ."," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 269-84, September.
  5. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier X, 1996. "The Classical Approach to Convergence Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 1019-36, July.
  6. Dixit, Avinash K, 1970. "Growth Patterns in a Dual Economy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(2), pages 229-34, July.
  7. Raffaele Paci, 1997. "More similar and less equal: Economic growth in the European regions," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 133(4), pages 609-634, December.
  8. Gouyette, Claudine & Neven, Damien J, 1994. "Regional Convergence in the European Community," CEPR Discussion Papers 914, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1994. "Regional cohesion: Evidence and theories of regional growth and convergence," Economics Working Papers 104, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  10. Jan Fagerberg & Bart Verspagen, 1996. "Heading for Divergence? Regional Growth in Europe Reconsidered," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(3), pages 431-448, 09.
  11. Raffaele Paci & Francesco Pigliaru, 1999. "European regional growth: do sectors matter?," Chapters, in: Economic Growth and Change, chapter 8 Edward Elgar.
  12. Paci, Raffaele & Pigliaru, Francesco, 1997. "Structural change and convergence: an Italian regional perspective," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 297-318, August.
  13. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Razin, Assaf, 1973. "A Model of Intersectoral Migration and Growth," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 72-79, March.
  14. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Productivity and Convergence across U.S. States and Industries," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 113-35.
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