Sigma Convergence versus Beta Convergence: Evidence from U.S. County-Level Data
Andrew T. Young
West Virginia University - College of Business and Economics
Matthew John Higgins
Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics; Emory University - Department of Economics; Rimini Center for Economic Analysis
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Forthcoming
In this paper we outline (i) why sigma-convergence may not accompany beta-convergence, (ii) discuss evidence of beta-convergence in the U.S., and (iii) use U.S. county-level data containing over 3,000 cross-sectional observations to demonstrate that sigma-convergence cannot be detected at the county-level across the U.S., or within the large majority of the individual U.S. states considered separately. Indeed, in many cases statistically significant sigma-divergence is found.
Keywords: sigma-convergence, beta-convergence, Solow growth model, speed of convergence, balanced growth, U.S. county-level data, income distribution, Gini coefficient, income equality
JEL Classification: O40, O11, O18, R11Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 15, 2007
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