عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسندگان [English]چکیده [English]
The issues of disparities, regional balance development and improvement of quality of life have attracted considerable attention among researchers, planners and policy makers. Balanced growth of all provinces with decreased disparities achieved in Iran has been considered essential for political stability, national integration and economic viability. Regional disparities are one of the main problems in Iran and Iranian provinces suffer from such disparities. The variations in regions economic performance has strengthened the debate on convergence or divergence in their growth rates to determine if initially disparate regions are converging to common steady-state levels. It is also pertinent to ask whether such divergence is occurring in the different aspects of quality of life. In Accordance with the research concerns, the main purpose of this paper is to investigate convergence quality of life indicators and coefficients on regional development and the decrease of disparities between provinces. Base on theoretical foundations in quality of life and regional disparities, human development index (HDI) and related indicators along with five indicators including access to clean water, employment rate, economic participation, average incomes in urban and rural areas over the period 1996, 2006 and 2011 have been chosen as proxies for measuring quality of life and economic growth as proxy for regional development. Moreover, the requirement data base was established and brief description about quality of life in Iranian provinces was presented. Eventually, the conventional cross-sectional unconditional β-convergence and σ-convergence analyses of the existing literatures on Iran provinces are extended and investigated to find out whether there exits convergence in quality of life indicators and regional development. β-Convergence in understanding whether the gap between the rich and poor regions is closing, implies that the variable increases at a slower rate in regions with high values and at a higher rate in regions with low values. This version of convergence is judged by regression in the rate of increase during a period on the initial value of the variable; while σ-convergence relates to whether the cross- regional distribution of national income shrinks over time. Description analyses of quality of life and disparities in Iran show that five provinces including Tehran, Esfahan, Khuzestan, Kohgiluyeh & Boyer Ahmad and Semnan have presented levels above the Iran average both in GDP per-capita and the HDI. In contrast, provinces including Sistan and Baluchistan, Kurdestan, Lorestan, West Azerbaijan, Ardabil, Kermanshah, South and North Khorasan show very low levels both in HDI and GDP per-capita. Among 30 provinces of Iran, in all periods Tehran has been found at a very high level of development; four provinces including Esfahan, Khuzestan, Yazd, Semnan and Qom are at high levels of development; and other 25 provinces lie at the levels of medium-high, medium, low-medium, low and very low levels, respectively. Regarding all development indices, it is also notable that all 8 provinces located in border provinces including Sistan& Baluchistan (located in the southeastern region of Iran), Kurdistan (located in the west region of Iran), North Khorasan & South Khorasan (located in the northeastern and east region of Iran), Hormozgan(located in the south region of Iran), Ilam(located in the west region of Iran), West Azerbaijan and Ardabil (located in the northwestern & north region of Iran), are far lower and suffer from lower human development compared with other parts of Iran. Also the results of this study reveal that, within the analyzed period, generally the order of provinces in terms of quality of life has not changed, but quality of life indicators have been increased. Results of convergence analyses shows that over the last two decades there has been unconditional convergence and the rates of convergence are acceptable although is very different with highest β-convergence belong to HDI and least to Rural Income and GDP per-capita. Both β-convergence and σ-convergence confirm the existence of process of convergence between 1996, 2006 and 2011 and this implies that the disparities in HDI levels and GDP per-capita across regions have indeed decreased. In other words, the relative convergence with both in unconditional β-convergence and σ-convergence analyses (excluded employment rate and economic participation) has been occurred while inequality still remains in quality of life and raised. Moreover, the results of this study imply that the convergence of economic indicators is most important issue and than other consistent indicators. Therefore, obtaining regional sustainable development and alleviating disparate polices requires a special dedication and consideration of economic growth in regional policies than other indicators across provinces.