Beta, sigma and club convergence: Indian experience from 1980 to 2015

  • Sulekha HembramEmail author
  • Sushil Kr. Haldar


The debate over standard β, σ, and club convergence is empirically re-examined in India with respect to per capita net state domestic product (PCNSDP) across 22 states over time (viz. 1980–1981 to 2015–2016). We go beyond the σ convergence, and the distribution-sensitive inequality measure such as generalized entropy is used to exploring the pattern of distribution of PCNSDP among states over time. We find σ divergence, rising trend of inequality of PCNSDP with a higher sensitivity to the right tail of the distribution. The results show that there exists absolute β divergence but conditional β convergence; the conditioning variables which appear to be significant are per capita bank deposit (PCBD) and composite physical infrastructure index. The kernel density estimation and Markov’s transitional probability matrix (TPM) show that there exists club convergence among the states; we find higher stability, but lower mobility indices during different time intervals confirm the existence of club convergence in the short run; however, the long-run TPM gives the opposite results. The long-run TPM shows that very few states are stable to their respective clubs, but most of the states have been experiencing transitional movement from higher to lower income group over time; thus, our results do not support the earlier findings of ‘missing middle’.


Club convergence Stochastic kernel Markov process Generalized entropy Transitional probability matrix 

JEL Classification

C14 C23 H54 H59 O49 



At the very outset, we express our sincere thanks and gratitude to an anonymous referee of this Journal for offering valued comments and suggestions on this paper. The paper was presented in three seminars namely at the (a) DSA Seminar on ‘Globalization and Regional Development’, organized by the Department of Economics, University of Calcutta on 28th March, 2017; (b) 7th West Bengal Growth Conference organized by IGC-ISI (SOSU), ISI-Kolkata during 26–27 Dec.2017; and (c) National Workshop on “Growth and Productivity of Indian Economy: Contemporary Issues” during 11–12 February 2019 at Delhi School of Economics (DSE), University of Delhi. Authors are benefitted from the comments of the participants of all the conferences; we are especially grateful to Sabyasachi Kar for providing befitting comments and suggestions on this paper at the DSE Conference.


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© Editorial Office, Indian Economic Review 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia

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