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The Wealth and Poverty of RegionsWhy Cities Matter$
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Mario Polese

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226673158

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226673172.001.0001

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Why Is the Geography of Wealth More Unequal in Some Nations?

Why Is the Geography of Wealth More Unequal in Some Nations?

(p.94) 4 Why Is the Geography of Wealth More Unequal in Some Nations?
The Wealth and Poverty of Regions

Mario Polèse

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the reasons behind regional disparity in wealth and why some nations have difficulty in overcoming this problem. Regional disparity can be viewed from different perspectives. A region can be seen as being less prosperous because it allows for comparatively fewer activities or, alternatively, because its citizens are on average poorer than the citizens in the rest of the nation. First, to understand why, there is need to understand the mechanisms that caused regional inequalities to arise in the first place. What happens afterwards? Is there a predictable happy ending? Should we expect income disparities between central and peripheral places to widen or to lessen over time? The answer is not the same for all nations. The key issue revolves around the long-term effects of capital flows and, especially, of migration on the gap between poor and rich regions. National economic growth has over time led to greater regional income equality and, ironically, it has generated greater inequality.

Keywords:   wealth, economic growth, regional income equality, regional disparity, income disparity

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