Original Paper

The Annals of Regional Science

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 81-94

First online:

A time series analysis of U.S. metropolitan and non-metropolitan income divergence

  • George W. HammondAffiliated withBureau of Business and Economic Research, West Virginia University Email author 

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This paper employs time series methods to analyze convergence across metropolitan and non-metropolitan regions during the 1969–2001 period. The results suggest that non-metropolitan regions are diverging from below the U.S. average income level, while metropolitan regions show mixed evidence of convergence. These summary results vary by geographic location and the size of the region, with medium-sized metropolitan regions showing the strongest tendencies to converge, while non-metropolitan areas with larger urban centers and small towns showed the strongest tendencies to diverge. Differences in human capital (as well as employment concentrations in farming and mining) appear to have influenced the relative performance of metropolitan and non-metropolitan regions during the last 30 years, suggesting a role for agglomeration economies in the observed trend toward divergence.

JEL Classification

C22 R11 O18