Using panel unit root tests to evaluate the income convergence hypothesis in middle East and North Africa countries
This article aims at testing the convergence hypothesis in MENA region using new tests of a unit root in panel data. Quah (1994, 1998), Evans & Karras (1996) and Bertrand & Jones (1996) recommend this technique to evaluate the income convergence hypothesis. According to them it avoids econometric problems of the cross-countries growth regressions testing convergence and sample bias of the multivariate cointegration techniques. We test both the absolute and the conditional convergence with panel unit roots tests using the Summers and Heston's data 5.2 and 6.1 on the periods of 1960 to 1990 and from 1960 to 2000. The absolute convergence hypothesis use panel unit roots test with no fixed individual effects. The catching-up hypothesis is accepted for most groups of the region countries during both periods (1960 to 1990 and 1960 to 2000). If we allow a break in the unit root tests, the hypothesis is accepted for more groups. The conditional convergence requires panel unit root tests with fixed individual effects. Again, during the whole periods, the conditional convergence is accepted for the major part of the remaining groups of MENA countries.
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