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Unlocking the black box: A comprehensive meta-analysis of the main determinants of within-region income inequality

Diana Barros () and Aurora A. C. Teixeira ()
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Diana Barros: University of Lisbon
Aurora A. C. Teixeira: University of Porto

Review of Regional Research: Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, 2021, vol. 41, issue 1, No 3, 55-93

Abstract: Abstract Regional income inequality is a topic of increasing relevance worldwide that has received considerable scientific attention. However, a clear-cut, comprehensive view has yet to be put forward of the main determinants of regional income inequality. Indeed, the extant empirical literature on the topic has reported differing results. Thus, this study develops a comprehensive meta-analysis using 33 comparable empirical studies spanning 29 years of research, involving 28 main determinants of which the most frequently mentioned were regional development, human capital, manufacturing/industry share, unemployment, financial development, and trade openness. After adjusting for publication bias and heterogeneity in the results reported by the primary studies, we conclude that the not very frequently addressed institutional related determinants (financial development, fiscal policies and public sector size), substantially contribute to reduce within-region income inequality, particularly in lower-income settings. In a smaller extent, human capital and trade openness also mitigate within-region income inequality. Region level of development, urbanization and, in a lesser extent, technological intensity aggravate within-region income inequality.

Keywords: Income inequality; Regions; Determinants; Meta-analysis; Publication bias; D3; O10; O15; O20; R10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s10037-020-00149-0

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