Research

Convergence and Mobility: Personal Income Trends in U.S. Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan Regions

We find an overall process of income convergence across all sub-state labor markets (commuting zones) in the lower 48 U.S. states during the 1969-1999 period. However, this overall process is not expressed in a uniform way across metropolitan/non-metropolitan commuting zones, across time periods, or across Census regions. We find evidence that downward mobility within the distribution is more common than upward mobility during the 1969-1999 period for metropolitan commuting zones, in contrast to results for non-metropolitan zones. This suggests that catching-up within the distribution is more common for non-metropolitan zones than for metropolitan zones. Further, the largest metropolitan regions show strong tendencies to converge towards the bottom of their income distribution, while at the same time showing comparatively little mobility (across income classes and rank). This contrasts markedly with results for the smallest non-metropolitan regions, which show no evidence of convergence, but high levels of intra-distributional mobility. http://irx.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/29/1/35

Publication Information
Article Title: Convergence and Mobility: Personal Income Trends in U.S. Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan Regions
Journal: International Regional Science Review (2006)
29
Author(s): Thompson, Eric
Researcher Information
    
Thompson, Eric
Thompson, Eric
Karl H. Nelson Associate Professor of Economics, Director of the Bureau of Business Research
Expertise:
  • Bureau of Business Research
  • Regional Economics
Economics
CoB 523 AA
P.O. Box 880489
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0489, USA
Phone: (402) 472-3318
Fax: (402) 472-9700
ethompson2@unl.edu