Growth dispersion of ASEAN countries: Evidence from night lights


  • Thanee Chaiwat Faculty of Economics, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand


Economic Growth, Night Lights, ASEAN, Spatial Inequality, Urbanization, Growth Dispersion


The spatial dispersion of growth is as important as growth itself because it can indicate the degree of inclusiveness, urbanization, and unbalanced development. This paper used data on night lights of the
sub-national level of ASEAN countries from 2005 to 2010. A dispersion of growth is defined as a standard deviation normalized by a level of night lights in each sub-national area. This paper shows that night light measure is an efficient proxy of gross sub-national output. The estimation also indicates that democratic institutions for ASEAN6 can improve the degree of growth dispersion, whereas an effect of regional linkages can either increase or decrease the means of transportation and level of development of a country. Most of the factors for CLMV, which are countries with beginning stage of growth, support less dispersion of growth owing to the low effectiveness of domestic developmental distribution mechanisms.


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