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Keywords:

  • growth;
  • club convergence;
  • mapping models;
  • maximum entropy estimation;
  • spatial dependence

Abstract

This article deals with heterogeneity and spatial dependence in economic growth analysis by developing a two-stage strategy that identifies clubs by a mapping analysis and estimates a club convergence model with spatial dependence. Since estimation of this class of convergence models in the presence of regional heterogeneity poses both identification and collinearity problems, we develop an entropy-based estimation procedure that simultaneously takes account of ill-posed and ill-conditioned inference problems. The two-step strategy is applied to assess the existence of club convergence and to estimate a two-club spatial convergence model across Italian regions over the period 1970 to 2000.