Metropolitan/non-metropolitan divergence: A spatial Markov chain approach

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32 Scopus citations


This article examines spatial aspects of distributional dynamics and finds that the distribution of US metropolitan incomes relative to their neighbours has diverged during the 1969-1999 period. Use of a spatial Markov approach shows that non-metropolitan neighbours of metropolitan regions have tended to converge during the period, with roughly equal rates of upward and downward mobility within the distribution. Non-metropolitan regions, not neighbouring metropolitan regions, show much less tendency to converge and reveal higher rates of downward rather than upward mobility. Results highlight regional differences in mobility coherence, with metropolitan areas in the West tending to outpace their non-metropolitan neighbours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-563
Number of pages21
JournalPapers in Regional Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2004


  • Convergence
  • Distribution dynamics
  • Metropolitan
  • Non-metropolitan
  • Spatial Markov chain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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