Spatial Empirics for Economic Growth and Convergence



This paper suggests some new empirical strategies for analyzing the evolution of regional income distributions over time and space. These approaches are based on extensions to the classical Markov transition matrices that allow for a more comprehensive analysis of the geographical dimensions of the transitional dynamics. This is achieved by integrating some recently developed local spatial statistics within a Markov framework. Insights to not only the frequency with which one economy may transition across different classes in the income distribution, but also how those transitions may or may not be spatially dependent are provided by these new measures. A number of indices are suggested as ways to characterize the space-time dynamics and are illustrated in a case study of U. S. regional income dynamics over the 1929–1994 period.