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Poverty, Income Inequality and Economic Growth in U.S. Counties: - page 10 / 33

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U.S. Specific Studies

Bhatta (2001) explores how initial level of income inequality and poverty are

related to subsequent economic growth in the Metropolitan Statistical Areas of the United

States. While the initial level of poverty is negatively related to growth, he finds that the

initial level of inequality is positively associated with growth. He also presents evidence

that Metropolitan Statistical Area’s with high growth experience low end of the period

poverty and inequality. He measures inequality by constructing the Gini index for the

MSA’s in the U.S.

Rupasingha et al. (2002) provide evidence that social and institutional factors

largely explain the differences in economic growth in U.S. counties. They find that higher

level of income inequality is associated with lower growth rates in the US counties.

Similarly, Ruapsingha and Goetz (2007), on explaining the structural determinants of

poverty in U.S. metro and non-metro areas, find that initial level of income inequality

increases the end of the period poverty rate. The two studies mentioned above use the

ratio of mean to median income to measure inequality.

Partridge and Rickman (2005) present evidence that economic policies aimed at

stimulating job growth and increasing human capital reduce poverty even in high-poverty

counties. Levernier et al. (2000) show that the population characteristics, employment

growth, educational attainment, job-skill mismatch, migration and industrial restructuring

affect poverty both in metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties, though affecting them

in varying degrees.

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