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Inequalities in Income and Education and Regional Economic Growth in Western Europe

  • Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
  • Tselios, Vassilis

Does inequality matter for regional growth? This paper addresses this question by using microeconomic data for more than 100,000 individuals over a period of 5 years from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) dataset, complemented with Eurostat's Regio data, in order to examine the impact of income and educational distribution on regional economic growth. Educational distribution is measured in terms of educational achievement as well as educational inequality, and income distribution in terms of income per capita and income inequality, not only for the whole of the population, but also for normally working people. Our results indicate that, given existing levels of inequality, an increase in a region's income and educational inequality has a significant positive relationship with subsequent economic growth. Nevertheless, the reverse does not seem to be the case, as we do not find a causal link between growth and changes in inequality levels. Despite the fact that educational achievement is positively correlated with economic growth, the results also suggest that inequalities in income and educational attainment levels matter more for economic performance than average income and educational attainment, respectively. Initial income levels, in contrast, are irrelevant for regional economic growth as they are very sensitive to the inclusion of control variables.

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Paper provided by Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its series Papers with number DYNREG34.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:dynreg34
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