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Heterogeneous Growth and Regional (Di)Convergence in Bolivia: A Distribution Dynamics Approach

Mendez-Guerra, Carlos (2017): Heterogeneous Growth and Regional (Di)Convergence in Bolivia: A Distribution Dynamics Approach.

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Abstract

Bolivia has experienced high economic growth rates in the last decade and a half. This fast growth, however, varies largely across its administrative regions. Considering this heterogeneous-growth context, this article documents the evolution of income disparities and convergence patterns of the Bolivian regions over the 1988-2014 period. In particular, using a distribution dynamics approach, this article evaluates both the long-run equilibrium and the transition dynamics of the cross-sectional distribution of regional GDP per capita. The main results show a clear pattern of regional divergence for the period 1988-2000. In contrast, the 2000-2014 period points to a much more complex pattern of (di)convergence: the long-run equilibrium distribution is characterized by both a process of convergence arising from the top and a process of divergence near its bottom tail. Overall, the evolution of the external shape of the distribution and the intra-distribution dynamics suggest that the process of regional growth in Bolivia may be characterized by at least two convergence clubs. Moreover, these clubs are identifiable in periods of both low and high national growth.

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