Drivers of convergence: The role of first- and second-nature geography

Theodoros Arvanitopoulos, Vassilis Monastiriotis, Theodore Panagiotidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The analysis of regional convergence often stays at the level of documentation, with limited attention placed on the drivers of convergence/divergence dynamics. This article offers a systematic analysis of this, examining the role of first-nature (location, proximity, physical geography) and second-nature geography (economic structure, agglomeration, economic potential) in accounting for regional synchronicity in growth trajectories (stochastic convergence). Utilising historical data for Greece at the prefectural level and up-to-date time-series econometric techniques, we test for the presence of stochastic convergence in the country over three decades prior to the crisis; identify the pairs of regions which exhibit co-movement in their growth dynamics; and examine the covariates of this. Our results unveil a picture of limited-only and cluster-like convergence, driven predominantly by factors related to accessibility, sectoral specialisations, labour market dynamism, market potential and selected locational characteristics. This supports two propositions: (a) convergence is an endogenous process, related to shared and incongruent characteristics of regions; and, by implication, (b) regional disparities are structural (in the sense that they are linked to economic and spatial structure) and thus require targeted policies in order to be addressed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalUrban Studies
Early online date24 Feb 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Greece
  • first and second nature geography
  • pairwise approach
  • stochastic convergence

Cite this