Economic structure, technology diffusion and convergence - the case of the Italian regions
Over the years, Italy’s regional disparities have been the object of much investigation in the literature. Recent evidence points to a revival of the convergence process, which had come to a halt in the mid-1970s, and renews the interest in the subject. This paper aims at contributing to the debate. Endorsing the critiques of the neoclassical assumption of technology as a public good, we investigate the link between economies’ structural characteristics and their growth performance. Specifically, treating technology as sector-specific and modelling technological spillovers as a positive function of the degree of similarity between economies’ sectoral features, a modified version of the Solow model is put forward and used to derive an “extended” convergence equation. The latter is then estimated by means of Panel Data procedures and data on the Italian regions over the 1970-1995 period. The results bring empirical support to our approach. From a theoretical viewpoint, our model suggests that the effects of technology diffusion on the convergence process are twofold. Firstly, if technological progress is partly dependent on external innovations, the temporal evolution of each economy’s productivity level, and its speed of convergence to the steady state value, cannot be ascribed solely to the existence of diminishing returns to capital, as suggested by Neoclassical Growth Theory, but is affected by technology diffusion as well. The difficulty in disentangling the effects of the two factors on the convergence rate remains, but the “extended” convergence equation arrived at reveals that the size of technological spillovers will have a level effect on productivity. Secondly, treating technological progress as sector dependent, our model implies potential steady-state growth rate heterogeneity. Thus, the estimated convergence rate can be ascribed to the concept of “Weak Conditional Convergence” [Islam (2003)], with each economy converging to its own steady state growth rate, which is more likely to be different from the others the more diverse the steady state production structures. These arguments lend support to the concept of “Club Convergence”.
|Date of creation:||Aug 2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria|
Web page: http://www.ersa.org
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sala-i-Martin, Xavier X., 1996.
"Regional cohesion: Evidence and theories of regional growth and convergence,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1325-1352, June.
- Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1994. "Regional Cohesion: Evidence and Theories of Regional Growth and Convergence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1075, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1994. "Regional cohesion: Evidence and theories of regional growth and convergence," Economics Working Papers 104, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Kevin Lee & M. Hashem Pesaran & Ron Smith, 1996.
"Growth and Convergence in a Multi-Country Empirical Stochastic Solow Model,"
9637, Economic Research Forum, revised Dec 1996.
- Lee, Kevin & Pesaran, M Hashem & Smith, Ron, 1997. "Growth and Convergence in Multi-country Empirical Stochastic Solow Model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(4), pages 357-92, July-Aug..
- Kevin Lee & M. Hashem Pesaran & Ron Smith, . "Growth and Convergence in a Multi-County empirical Stochastic Solow Model," Discussion Papers in Economics 96/14, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
- Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
- Pesaran, M.H. & Smith, R., 1992.
"Estimating Long-Run Relationships From Dynamic Heterogeneous Panels,"
Cambridge Working Papers in Economics
9215, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
- Pesaran, M. Hashem & Smith, Ron, 1995. "Estimating long-run relationships from dynamic heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 79-113, July.
- Nazrul Islam, 2003. "What have We Learnt from the Convergence Debate?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 309-362, 07.
- Jan Fagerberg, 2000.
"Technological Progress, Structural Change and Productivity Growth: A Comparative Study,"
5, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
- Fagerberg, Jan, 2000. "Technological progress, structural change and productivity growth: a comparative study," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 393-411, December.
- Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
- Paci, Raffaele & Pigliaru, Francesco, 1997. "Structural change and convergence: an Italian regional perspective," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 297-318, August.
- 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.
- Fingleton, B & McCombie, J S L, 1998. "Increasing Returns and Economic Growth: Some Evidence for Manufacturing from the European Union Regions," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 89-105, January.
- Gaetano Carmeci & Luciano Mauro, 2002. "TheConvergence of the Italian Regions and Unemployment: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 509-532.
- M Arellano & O Bover, 1990.
"Another Look at the Instrumental Variable Estimation of Error-Components Models,"
CEP Discussion Papers
dp0007, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
- Nelson, Richard R, 1981. "Research on Productivity Growth and Productivity Differences: Dead Ends and New Departures," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 1029-64, September.
- Nazrul Islam, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-1170.
- Maurseth, Per Botolf, 2001. "Convergence, geography and technology," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 247-276, September.
- Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
- Raffaele Paci & Francesco Pigliaru, 1999.
"Growth and sectoral dynamics in the Italian regions,"
in: Economic Growth and Change, chapter 12
Edward Elgar Publishing.
- R. Paci & F. Pigliaru, 1998. "Growth and sectoral dynamics in the Italian regions," Working Paper CRENoS 199803, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
- Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
- Nazrul Islam, 1998. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach—A Reply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 325-329.
- Sergio Rey & Brett Montouri, 1999. "US Regional Income Convergence: A Spatial Econometric Perspective," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 143-156.
- Marinella Terrasi, 1999. "Convergence and divergence across Italian regions," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 33(4), pages 491-510.
- Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991.
"Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
- Tom Doan, . "RATS program to replicate Arellano-Bond 1991 dynamic panel," Statistical Software Components RTZ00169, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Kiviet, Jan F., 1995.
"On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
- Tom Doan, . "LSDVC: RATS procedure to estimate a dynamic FE model with correction for bias," Statistical Software Components RTS00111, Boston College Department of Economics.
- K.H. Midelfart & H.G. Overman & S.J. Redding & A.J. Venables, 2000. "The location of European industry," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 142, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa05p323. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.