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Growth and Convergence across the United States: Evidence from County-Level Data

Matthew Higgins (), Daniel Levy () and Andrew Young ()

The Review of Economics and Statistics, 2006, vol. 88, issue 4, 671-681

Abstract: We use U.S. county data (3,058 observations) and 41 conditioning variables to study growth and convergence. Using ordinary least squares (OLS) and three-stage least squares with instrumental variables (3SLS-IV), we report on the full sample and metro, nonmetro, and and regional samples: (1) OLS yields convergence rates around 2%; 3SLS yields 6%-8%; (2) convergence rates vary (for example, the Southern rate is 2.5 times the Northeastern rate); (3) federal, state, and local government negatively correlates with growth; (4) the relationship between educational attainment and growth is nonlinear; and (5) the finance, insurance, and real estate industry and the entertainment industry correlate positively with growth, whereas education employment correlates negatively. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Date: 2006
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The Review of Economics and Statistics is currently edited by Amitabh Chandra, Olivier Coibion, Bryan S. Graham, Shachar Kariv, Amit K. Khandelwal, Asim Ijaz Khwaja, Brigitte C. Madrian and Rohini Pande

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