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Regional Convergence in per Capita Personal Income in the US and Canada

Authors: Ilona Shiller


This study examines regional convergence in per capita personal income in the US and Canada. We find that the disparity in real per capita income levels across US states (Canadian provinces) has declined, but income levels are not identical. Income levels become more aligned once costs of living are accounted for in relative per capita income series. US states (Canadian provinces) converge at an annual rate of between 1.3% and 2.04% (between 2.15% and 2.37%). A pattern of σ and β-convergence in per capita personal income across regions evident over the entire sample period, is reversed over 1979-1989 (1976-1990) period. The reversal may be due to sectoral or region-specific shocks that have highly persistent effects. The latter explanation might be true for half of the US and most of Canada.

Keywords: regional disparities, regional convergence, per capita income

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