National and Regional Patterns of Convergence and Divergence
Edited by John Adams and Francesco Pigliaru
Chapter 6: Inequality in regional and state per capita incomes in the United States: how much convergence has taken place?
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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