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Factors behind the convergence of economic performance across U.S. states

  • Keith R. Phillips
  • James Nordlund
  • Roberto Coronado

The rolling recessions of the 1970s and 1980s were characterized by industry and region specific shocks that led to large dispersions in the economic performance of regions across the U.S. The 1970s were primarily impacted by sharply rising energy prices that hit the manufacturing states hard while stimulating growth in the energy states.> ; The 1980s began with declines in the Farm Belt, followed by declines in the Energy Belt, the Rust (manufacturing) Belt, and finally, due to declines in defense spending, a decline in the Gun Belt. Simple measures of regional dispersion such as the population-weighted variance of job growth across states show that the economic dispersion was historically high during these two decades.> ; The 1990s saw a continuous decline in regional economic dispersion and the 2000s has seen historically low levels of dispersion. Perhaps the biggest surprise this decade has been the low levels of dispersion of economic performance over the past several years given the significant energy price shocks and the depth of the national economic recession. In this paper, we look at the likely causes of economic dispersion across regions and test for the major influences both in the rise of dispersion in the 1970s and 1980s and the subsequent fall in the 1990s and 2000s. Major factors that we test include state industrial structure, oil price shocks and bank integration.

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File URL: http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/papers/2011/wp1108.pdf
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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its series Working Papers with number 1108.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:feddwp:1108
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  1. James D. Hamilton, 2000. "What is an Oil Shock?," NBER Working Papers 7755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. William R. Keeton, 2009. "Has multi-market banking changed the response of small business lending to local economic shocks?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 5-35.
  3. Donald Morgan & Bertrand Rime & Philip E. Strahan, 2004. "Bank Integration and State Business Cycles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1555-1584, November.
  4. Carlino, Gerald A. & DeFina, Robert H., 2004. "How strong is co-movement in employment over the business cycle? Evidence from state/sector data," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 298-315, March.
  5. Owyang, Michael T. & Piger, Jeremy & Wall, Howard J., 2008. "A state-level analysis of the Great Moderation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 578-589, November.
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