Regional Sustainability ›› 2023, Vol. 4 ›› Issue (1): 81-95.doi: 10.1016/j.regsus.2023.03.004

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Is there regional convergence between Morocco and its OECD partner countries in terms of well-being?

Ilyes BOUMAHDI(), Nouzha ZAOUJAL   

  1. Gender, Economics, Actuarial, Statistics, Demography and Sustainable Development (GEAS3D) Laboratory, National Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics, Rabat, 10112, Morocco
  • Received:2022-09-09 Accepted:2023-03-05 Online:2023-03-30 Published:2023-04-14
  • Contact: Ilyes BOUMAHDI


Morocco wants its 12 regions to play the role as the main lever of its public policies to initiate harmonized spatial multidimensional development. In the context of this goal and Morocco’s openness over the past two decades to bilateral and multilateral cooperation in an effort toward regional integration, this article studies the convergence of 389 regions in 36 countries (Morocco and 35 of its partner member countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)) between 2000 and 2019 in terms of well-being. To this end, we considered the territorial dimension of β-convergence models for well-being and its four domains (economic, social, environmental, and governance). Then, we adapted the absolute β-convergence model by taking into account the existence of spatial heterogeneity according to five specifications of spatial models. Thus, apart from environmental domain, we found that β-convergence of regions is significant for well-being and three of its domains (economic, social, and governance). These convergences are made by a spatially autocorrelated error model (SEM). However, the speed and period of convergence are relatively low for social domain, partly explaining the very exacerbated tensions at the territorial level. The fastest convergence was achieved in governance domain, followed by economic domain. This suggests that emerging countries must pay particular attention to national public action in favor of social cohesion at the territorial level. The lack of convergence in environmental domain calls for common actions for all countries at the supranational level to protect the commons at the territorial level.

Key words: Well-being, Regional convergence, Spatial econometrics, β-convergence, Spatially autocorrelated error model, Morocco, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)