Abstract: Coming out of neo-classical growth theory, convergence theory suggests that regional differences in income will decrease over time. Studied in a variety of frameworks, there is evidence that convergence occurs, though conditioned upon regional economic capacities and participation in the larger neo-classical economy. Within the United States, convergence evidence is present at the national and sub-national levels. Of particular interest in this process is Appalachia, a region understood to have taken a peripheral role to the larger neo-classical economy, and not subject to convergence. Recent work suggests the possibility of convergence and movement towards a neo-classical growth process, though the evidence is mixed and indirect. This paper tests for convergence in Appalachia and the influence of neo-classical and Appalachian-specific growth factors. Results indicate convergence and a movement of the Appalachian economy away from a core-periphery structure to a more neo-classical process largely driven by industrial structure and human capital.
Southeastern Geographer – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Aug 22, 2015
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