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Convergence in the United States: a tale of migration and urbanization

  • Riccardo DiCecio
  • Charles S. Gascon

We use non-parametric distribution dynamics techniques to reassess the convergence of per capita personal income (PCPI) across U.S. states and across metropolitan and nonmetropolitan portions of states for the period 1969-2005. The long-run distribution of PCPI is bimodal for both states and metro/nonmetro portions. Further- more, the high income mode of the distribution across metro and nonmetro portions corresponds to the single mode of the long-run distribution across metro portions only. These results (polarization or club-convergence) are reversed when weighting by population. The long run distributions across people are consistent with convergence. Migration and urbanization are the forces behind convergence.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2008-002.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2008-002
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  1. S Durlauf & Danny Quah, 1998. "The New Empirics of Economic Growth," CEP Discussion Papers dp0384, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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    • Durlauf, Steven N. & Johnson, Paul A. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2005. "Growth Econometrics," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 555-677 Elsevier.
  5. Costas Azariadis & John Stachurski, 2003. "A Forward Projection of the Cross-Country Income Distribution," KIER Working Papers 570, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
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  7. Gasper A. Garofalo & Steven Yamarik, 2002. "Regional Convergence: Evidence From A New State-By-State Capital Stock Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 316-323, May.
  8. Don J. Webber & Paul White & David O. Allen, 2005. "Income Convergence across U.S. States: An Analysis Using Measures of Concordance and Discordance," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 565-589.
  9. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Convergence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 223-51, April.
  10. Cletus C. Coughlin & Thomas B. Mandelbaum, 1988. "Why have state per capita incomes diverged recently?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 24-36.
  11. 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.
  12. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Empirics for economic growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1353-1375, June.
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