Asia-Pacific Development Journal

The Asia-Pacific Development Journal (APDJ) is published twice a year by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. The primary objective of the APDJ is to provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge, experience, ideas, information and data on all aspects of economic and social development issues and concerns facing the region and aims to stimulate policy debate and assist policy formulation. The APDJ provides a scholarly means for bringing together research work by eminent social scientists and development practitioners from the region and beyond for use by a variety of stakeholders. The Journal aims to stimulate policy debate and assist policy formulation in the region.


Regional disparities in Sri Lanka: An empirical analysis

To effectively implement the proposed United Nations development agenda beyond 2015, Governments will need to focus on reducing inequality in their national planning strategies. In order to provide an evidence base for such planning in the Sri Lankan context, a systematic and comprehensive analysis on regional inequality is required. The present study begins to undertake this type of analysis using summary sigma convergence statistics, such as the coefficient of variation, the Gini coefficient and mean deviation scores. Regional gross domestic product (GDP) per capita data for the period 1996 to 2011 reveal that inequality with respect to this welfare indicator is considerable. Analysis of trends, over this 16-year period, indicates that while some beta convergence has occurred since 2000, this convergence (both conditional and unconditional) is not statistically significant. Indeed, the results suggest that based on current trends, it will take 15 years to halve the current inequality and about 30 years to achieve a regionally balanced economy. In this context, well-planned regionally inclusive development strategies are needed in order for Sri Lanka to move forward, especially since the current levels of regional disparity are argued by some to have contributed to the civil unrest and conflict that led to a reduction in national economic development over the three decades to 2009.


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