The cyclical behavior of regional per capita incomes in the postwar period
This paper examines the cyclical dynamics of per capita personal income for the major U.S. regions during the 1953:3-95:2 period. The analysis reveals considerable differences in the volatility of regional cycles. Controlling for differences in volatility, the authors find a great deal of comovement in the cyclical response of four regions (New England, Southeast, Southwest, and Far West), which the authors call the core region, and the nation. The authors also find a great deal of comovement between the Mideast and Plains regions, but these regions are only weakly correlated with national movements. The cyclical response of the Great Lakes region is markedly different from that of the other regions and the nation. Possible sources underlying differences in regional cycles are explored, such as the share of a region's income accounted for by manufacturing, defense spending as a proportion of a region's income, oil price shocks, and the stance of monetary policy. Somewhat surprisingly, the authors find that the share of manufacturing in a region seems to account for little of the variation in regional cycles.
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