With the collapse of the bubble economy in the early 1990s, economic disparities among both people and regions have arisen in Japan. Although developments in spatial econometrics have provided regional convergence studies with highly effective tools to explicitly consider spatial dependence and heterogeneity, there has as yet been no significant research on Japan's economic disparity using spatial econometrics. Moreover, most conventional regional convergence studies on Japan study the post-war high economic growth period before the economic bubble.Hence, the objective of this study is to analyze regional income disparities in Japan in the period after the bubble burst. We use the Bayesian spatial Durbin model, which can consider both spatial dependence and heterogeneity. The data used in this research are annual data collected at the municipality level during 1989-2007. To the best of our knowledge, no research has been conducted to analyze Japan's regional income disparities at the municipality level, though some research has been done at the prefecture level.First, the study suggests that σ-convergence does not hold whether or not spatial dependence is considered. Second, it analyzes regional income convergence by applying the simplified Bayesian spatial Durbin model to the β -convergence approach. The results show that β-convergence holds over 1990-2007.
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