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26-01-2021 | Original Paper | Issue 1/2021

Review of Regional Research 1/2021

Unlocking the black box: A comprehensive meta-analysis of the main determinants of within-region income inequality

Journal:
Review of Regional Research > Issue 1/2021
Authors:
Diana Barros, Aurora A. C. Teixeira
Important notes

Supplementary Information

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10037-020-00149-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The original online version of this article was revised: In the original publication the authors‘ affiliations were incompletely represented.
A correction to this article is available online at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10037-021-00150-1.

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Abstract

Regional income inequality is a topic of increasing relevance worldwide that has received considerable scientific attention. However, a clear-cut, comprehensive view has yet to be put forward of the main determinants of regional income inequality. Indeed, the extant empirical literature on the topic has reported differing results. Thus, this study develops a comprehensive meta-analysis using 33 comparable empirical studies spanning 29 years of research, involving 28 main determinants of which the most frequently mentioned were regional development, human capital, manufacturing/industry share, unemployment, financial development, and trade openness. After adjusting for publication bias and heterogeneity in the results reported by the primary studies, we conclude that the not very frequently addressed institutional related determinants (financial development, fiscal policies and public sector size), substantially contribute to reduce within-region income inequality, particularly in lower-income settings. In a smaller extent, human capital and trade openness also mitigate within-region income inequality. Region level of development, urbanization and, in a lesser extent, technological intensity aggravate within-region income inequality.

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