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ISRN Economics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 398021, 19 pages
Research Article

Spatial Dimensions of Economic Growth in Brazil

Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA), Government of Brazil, Setor Bancário Sul, Quadra 1, Edifício BNDES, 7° andar, 70.076-900 Brasília, DF, Brazil

Received 16 November 2012; Accepted 19 December 2012

Academic Editors: I. Giannoccaro, M. T. Leung, and R. Seroa da Motta

Copyright © 2013 Guilherme Mendes Resende. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The contribution of this paper is to explore time and spatial scale dimensions of economic growth in Brazil using alternative panel data techniques to provide a measure of the extent of spatial autocorrelation (in kilometres) over three decades (1970–2000) as well as discussing the determinants of economic growth at a variety of geographic scales (minimum comparable areas, micro-regions, meso-regions, and states). The magnitude and statistical significance of growth determinants such as schooling, population density, population growth, and transportation costs are dependent on the scale of analysis. Moreover, the extent of residual spatial autocorrelation showed that it seems to vary across spatial scales. Indeed, spatial autocorrelation seems to be bounded at the state level and it shows positive and statistically significant values across distances of more than 1,500 kilometres at the other three spatial scales. Among other results, the study suggests that the nonspatial panel data techniques are not able to deal with spatially correlated omitted variables across different spatial scales, except for the state level where nonspatial panel data models seem to be appropriate to investigate growth determinants and convergence process in the Brazilian states case.