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Economic Growth and Change

Economic Growth and Change

National and Regional Patterns of Convergence and Divergence

Edited by John Adams and Francesco Pigliaru

The pursuit of economic growth is at the top of every nation’s policy agenda at the end of the 20th century. This authoritative and comprehensive book goes beyond the narrowly-based convergence model of economic growth by considering global, national and regional patterns of growth from a comparative perspective.

Chapter 6: Inequality in regional and state per capita incomes in the United States: how much convergence has taken place?

Andrew M. Sum and Walter N. Fogg

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, regional economics


Page 151  6. Inequality in regional and state per capita incomes in the United States: how much convergence has taken place?   Andrew M. Sum and Walter N. Fogg  INTRODUCTION  In recent years, there has been widespread interest in examining the comparative economic performance of countries across the world (Alam, 1992; Alam and Naseer,  1992; Barro, 1991; Barro and Sala­i­Martin, 1992, 1995; Baumol et al., 1994; Leonardi, 1995; Mankiw, Romer and Weil, 1992), including analyses of the extent to  which countries have been converging or diverging on real GDP per capita measures. Simultaneously, there has been growing interest in determining whether regions  and states in the United States and regions in other countries are converging on key economic measures of performance, including incomes and outputs (Blomstrom and  Wolff, 1994; Coulombe and Lee, 1993; Mallick and Carayannis, 1994; Paci and Pigliaru, 1997; Paci, 1997; Sum et al., 1995; Vohra, 1993).  The comparative economic performance of regional and state economies in the United States can be assessed from a number of different perspectives. Use of multiple  measures of economic performance, such as earnings, employment, incomes, or real output, would seem to be particularly helpful in analysing the degree to which  states are converging or diverging over time on each of these key measures (Sum et al., 1995). The degree of economic convergence or divergence among states or  regions during any given time period may well be expected to vary by type of economic performance measure. For example, studies of output per...

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