This paper gives a contribution to the debate on regional convergence by comparing the long run prediction of convergence clubs introduced by Quah (1996 and 1997) with the actual observed dynamics of the Italian regions during the period 1970–2004. To this end we analyze the evolution of per capita income levels for the Italian regions using a non-traditional (non-parametric) statistical model. In addition we segment the set of economies by the mean of hierarchical clustering methodologies and compare the trajectories of the regions by introducing different notions of distance. The general conclusion is that the average distance identifies a clear division between a high performance club consisting of regions from the Center North, and a low performance club composed by regions from the South and islands. The presence of a cluster composed by Center North regions is substantially confirmed by the distance correlation analysis, suggesting an homogeneous response to external shocks. By contrast Southern regions display the same dynamical evolution but difference in co-movements. Our analysis provides hints about the fundamentals that link the regions in their process of divergence. In fact the performance clubs pattern we discovered reflects the distribution of economic activities as well as the structural attributes of the regional economies.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 4, 2012
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