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Dissertation zugänglich unter
URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:18-36913
URL: http://ediss.sub.uni-hamburg.de/volltexte/2008/3691/

Regional Economic Growth Across Space and Time

Regionales Wachstum in Raum und Zeit

Curran, Declan

 Dokument 1.pdf (6.432 KB) 

SWD-Schlagwörter: Regionales Wirtschaftswachstum
Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch): Regional Growth
Basisklassifikation: 83.03
Institut: Wirtschaftswissenschaften
DDC-Sachgruppe: Wirtschaft
Dokumentart: Dissertation
Hauptberichter: Funke, Michael (Prof. Dr.)
Sprache: Englisch
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 05.06.2008
Erstellungsjahr: 2007
Publikationsdatum: 13.06.2008
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: Regional Economic Growth Across Space and Time


The focus of this study is the interregional growth process over time within countries. The issue of economic convergence both within and across countries has proved to be an intuitively appealing one for economists and policymakers alike. An understanding of the entire distribution of, say, income or employment within countries, as well as of how that distribution changes over time, allows one to establish the relative economic performance of regions and assess whether action needs to be taken stimulate economic activity in under-performing regions. Equally as important is the question of whether or not the regions that are relatively poor today are the same regions that were poor, say, 100 years ago. If this is indeed the case and some regions are persistently impoverished, then proactive measures may need to be taken by policymakers to propel regions out of this poverty trap. In this way, establishing the stylised facts of economic growth that currently prevail “on the ground” provides crucial information for policy decisions.
As outlined presently, this study broadens the scope of the existing literature in a number of ways. This is achieved through considering case-studies and datasets which have only recently come to light, by analysing the empirics of convergence in terms of the sectoral composition of regions, by addressing outstanding problems such as commuter flows and spatial dispersion, and by utilising a wide spectrum of complementary econometric techniques.

In the first paper, entitled “Divergence, Convergence, or Something In-between? Sectoral Trends and British Regional Economic Growth” an analysis of British regional economic development is undertaken which focuses on NUTS 3 Gross Value Added per capita data spanning from 1995-2004 for the primary, secondary, and services sectors. The aim of this paper is to look beneath the surface of aggregate British convergence-divergence trends. A range of techniques well-known to those familiar with the existing economic growth literature such as cross-sectional “growth equations” for absolute and conditional convergence are employed, as well as newly emerging nonparametric techniques.
The second paper, “Sectoral Trends and British Regional Economic Growth – A Spatial Econometric Perspective” delves further into the issue of convergence (or lack of ) across British NUTS 3 regions.
This paper addresses three problems that commonly arise in empirical studies of regional growth: (i) the impact of commuter flows that inevitably permeate highly disaggregated regional data; (ii) the inconsistencies that arise between administrative districts, such as NUTS 3 sub-regions, and actual zones of economic activity. The boundaries of administrative districts are often influenced by tradition, local custom, or other arbitrary reason and may render these districts less than ideal for economic analysis; (iii) identifying and accurately controlling for spatial dependence between neighbouring geographic units. These issues are addressed by constructing a set of functional economic regions for Britain, where the 128 NUTS 3 regions are aggregated together using a method based on commuter flow data

Post-unification Germany is the region of interest in the third paper, which is entitled “Drifting Together Or Falling Apart? The empirics of Regional Economic Growth in Post-Unification Germany”. The objective of this paper is to address the question of convergence across German districts in the first decade after German unification by drawing out and emphasising some stylised facts of regional per capita income dynamics. This is accomplished by employing non-parametric techniques which focus on the evolution of the entire cross-sectional income distribution.

The final paper “Economic Growth Across Space and Time: Subprovincial Evidence from Mainland China” considers the persistent differences in economic performance across Chinese regions.Discussion of Chinese regional disparities has often been framed in terms of a “three-belt hypothesis” which focuses on differences between the eastern, central, and western regions. In this paper a new highly disaggregated county and city-level dataset is introduced which spans the entirety of mainland China and provides a detailed view of Chinese regional growth over the 1997-2005 period. Non-parametric kernel density estimation is employed to establish the cross-sectional GDP per capita distribution, and the distributional dynamics are investigated using the probability matrix technique and the associated stochastic kernel estimator. A set of explanatory variables is then introduced and a number of regression estimators are utilized to test for conditional b-convergence and to pinpoint influential factors for economic growth across counties and cities.


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