Regional Growth and Migration: A Japan-U.S. Comparison

59 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2004 Last revised: 17 Jul 2010

See all articles by Robert J. Barro

Robert J. Barro

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Xavier Sala-i-Martin

Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics

Date Written: March 1992

Abstract

Do poor economies grow faster than rich ones? This important economic question (which we call [beta]-convergence) is analyzed in this paper using two regional data sets: 47 Prefectures in Japan and 48 States of the U.S.. We find clear evidence of convergence in both countries: poor prefectures and states grow faster. We also find that there is intraregional as well as interregional convergence. We analyze the cross sectional standard deviation across prefectures and states. We find that in both countries there has been a long term decline (a phenomenon that we call [sigma]-convergence). Finally we study the determinants of the rates of regional in-migration and, again. find striking similarities. In both countries, the reaction of net in-migration rates to the log of initial income is slightly above .025, which indicates a slow (although very significant) speed of population adjustment to income differentials. We find little evidence in favor of the argument that population movements are the reason why we find convergence across economies.

Suggested Citation

Barro, Robert J. and Sala-i-Martin, Francesc Xavier, Regional Growth and Migration: A Japan-U.S. Comparison (March 1992). NBER Working Paper No. w4038, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=226900

Robert J. Barro (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Francesc Xavier Sala-i-Martin

Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics ( email )

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