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Spatial Convergence of Regions Revisited: A Spatial Maximum Likelihood Systems Approach


  • Michael Paffermayr



This paper suggests that one should account for the endogeneity of important explanatory variables and the persistence of technology shocks when analyzing spatial convergence among regions.Specifically, it is argued that a systems approach is called for that includes the average growth rate and the initial income level as the endogenous variables. For 212 European regions the estimation results reveal a substantial correlation between the disturbances of the equation explaining initial income per capita and that of its subsequent average growth rate. Moreover, the estimated speed of convergence is found substantially higher in a systems framework. This holds true for both spatial conditional and unconditional convergence.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Paffermayr, 2009. "Spatial Convergence of Regions Revisited: A Spatial Maximum Likelihood Systems Approach," Working Papers 2009-07, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  • Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2009-07

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Enrique López-Bazo & Esther Vayá & Manuel Artís, 2004. "Regional Externalities And Growth: Evidence From European Regions," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 43-73.
    2. Barro, Robert J & Mankiw, N Gregory & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1995. "Capital Mobility in Neoclassical Models of Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 103-115, March.
    3. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, January.
    4. Daniel Cohen & Jeffrey Sachs, 1991. "Growth and External Debt Under Risk of Debt Repudiation," NBER Chapters,in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 437-472 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Cem Ertur & Wilfried Koch, 2007. "Growth, technological interdependence and spatial externalities: theory and evidence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(6), pages 1033-1062.
    6. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    7. Bernard Fingleton & Enrique López-Bazo, 2006. "Empirical growth models with spatial effects," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 85(2), pages 177-198, June.
    8. Kieran McQuinn & Karl Whelan, 2007. "Conditional convergence and the dynamics of the capital-output ratio," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 159-184, June.
    9. Caselli, Francesco & Esquivel, Gerardo & Lefort, Fernando, 1996. "Reopening the Convergence Debate: A New Look at Cross-Country Growth Empirics," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 363-389, September.
    10. Attfield, C. L. F. & Cannon, Edmund S. & Demery, D. & Duck, Nigel W., 2000. "Economic growth and geographic proximity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 109-112, July.
    11. Fields, Gary S, 1979. "Place-to-Place Migration: Some New Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(1), pages 21-32, February.
    12. Peter Egger & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2006. "Spatial convergence," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 85(2), pages 199-215, June.
    13. Faini, Riccardo, 1996. "Increasing returns, migrations and convergence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 121-136, April.
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    More about this item


    Spatial beta-convergence; Spatial Solow model; Spatial systems maximum likelihood estimation; Europeanregions;

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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