Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
In this dissertation, I make three important contributions to the literature on regional economics. In Chapter 2, I construct a measure of early development, urban population density (urban population relative to total land area), that is novel to the growth literature, and apply GIS techniques to define and locate regions/cities and obtain geographic and historical measures across regions and cities. Chapter 3 investigates the persistence in sub-national development over the past 150 years. I find that regions that had a relatively higher urban population density in 1850 tend to be relatively more developed today. Geographic and climatic characteristics are significantly correlated with development and explain part of persistence, and human capital and physical capital are potential channels of the persistence. Chapter 4 explores the existence of regional convergence over the past 150 years. I find that regions have been converging at a very slow rate over the past 100 years but the rate of convergence has accelerated over the most recent half century.
Document Availability at the Time of Submission
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.
Ruan, Dachao, "Essays on Sub-national Economic Growth: Evidence from A Global Sample" (2015). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 1665.