The dynamics of regional product inequality by expanded rank-size functions

Byungseol Byun, University of Pennsylvania


It is important to recognize that regional product inequality in a country happens inevitably in the process of economic growth because growth does not occur evenly. The main objective of this study is, theoretically and empirically, to identify the magnitude and dynamics of regional inequalities, comparing the United States and Korea. First, this study measures the overall degree of regional inequality using currently employed systemic inequality measures such as the coefficient of variation, the Gini coefficient, and the Theil coefficient. Furthermore, this study investigates the drawbacks of these existing measures. This study introduces the rank-size inequality measure as an alternative inequality measure, which does not have the drawbacks of existing measures. Second, another interest of this study is the inequality pattern. This study tests Williamson's inverted-U hypothesis in Korea, and Amos' augmented inverted-U hypothesis in the U.S., focusing on overall regional convergence and divergence. Finally, this study examines the variations in regional inequality in terms of regional dynamics, answering the questions, where, when, and why inequality increases or decreases. The expanded rank-size functions are investigated by regression analysis. The study analyzes regional product inequality by employing expansion methods with respect to rank and time. This study presents the spatial and temporal dynamics of inequality between the U.S and Korea for the years 1963-1992, which provides insight in understanding the variation process of the urban system.

Subject Area

Urban planning|Area planning & development|Economics

Recommended Citation

Byun, Byungseol, "The dynamics of regional product inequality by expanded rank-size functions" (1997). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9814828.