Previous studies have explored regional performance from the perspective of endogenous growth theory. This empirical investigation is conducted on a panel dataset of 64 Vietnamese provinces and integrates moderated regression analysis. Statistically, the empirical results did not fully support the endogenous growth model in cases in which regional per capita income tended to converge across different regions, while improved foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow, capital investment, and degree of openness did have significant positive impacts on GDP growth. This study questions the validity of endogenous growth theory in the early stage of a less developed country. Furthermore, results indicate that internationalization activities positively affect regional performance for provinces that have established special economic zones (SEZs) through liberal state regulation.

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