We propose a two-region two-sector model of uneven development,where technological change benefits either the lagging or the leading region. Inthis framework inter-regional transfers may lead to persistentunderdevelopment; by raising wages, transfers reduce the chance of thebackward region adopting a new technology and taking o.. Due to uncertaintyabout which region benefits from technological change, the backward regionmay rationally choose to remain underdeveloped, while the advanced regioncontinues to pay transfers. The model provides a rationale for cases, such asItaly’s Mezzogiorno, where the same rich region subsidizes the same poorregion on a continuous basis.
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