Attempts to evaluate the progress that has been made to date in reducing spatial inequality. More specifically, it aims to evaluate the pattern of regional economic development from 1975 to 2000, assess the gains, if any, in reducing regional disparities, and estimate the extent to which government policies have contributed to regional convergence. Employing convergence methodology, the study finds that there has been “alpha” convergence (a decline in overall regional inequality), and also often “beta” convergence (the poorer regions catching up to the richer ones), which is shown to correlate strongly with agricultural growth. Additionally, it draws attention to the key role of physical infrastructure in shaping regional outcomes, the country's experience with decentralization, and the vertical and horizontal fiscal imbalances among LGUs.
Keywords: convergence, decentralization, fiscal policy, gross regional domestic product, infrastructure development, regional development, regional disparities, shift analysis, vertical/horizontal imbalance
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