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Specialisation and Convergence in European Regions

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  • Enrico Marelli

Abstract

The purpose of this paper was to analyze specialization and convergence of European countries and regions, within the framework of integration in the EU. This is important not only for long-term real convergence processes, but also for a proper functioning of the monetary union (in the line of research on the OCA's criteria, asymmetry of shocks and synchronization of business cycles). The position of new member states is particularly delicate, also considering the forthcoming adoption of the euro by some of them. As indicated by the EU Treaty, economic growth should be balanced with economic and social cohesion that includes a careful consideration of regional disparities. Our empirical investigation focuses on the regions of EU25, further broken up into other relevant groupings (EU15, EMU, and the new members' EU10 group), over the period from 1980 (or 1990 for EU10) to 2005. This paper considers a rather fine regional disaggregation (NUTS-2 level), counting 250 regions. The analysis of different indices of specialisation point to a prevalent increase of homogeneity of sector structures across European regions, although in some cases (especially in the industrial sector and in some services) specialisation has increased. For convergence, a sigma convergence's analysis confirms a reduction of disparities, both at a country and regional level. However, a trade-off between fast national growth and internal distribution has emerged in the early stages of development, as in the case of new members. Moreover, beta convergence has also been established - regarding per capita income, employment and productivity - for almost all territorial aggregates (excluding the new members since 1999). The addition of structural variables, following a beta-conditional approach, indicates a positive role for services and a negative impact of agriculture. Finally, some preliminary results have been obtained by the innovative inclusion of specialisation indices within convergence regressions.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cattaneo University (LIUC) in its journal The European Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
Pages: 149-178

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Handle: RePEc:liu:liucej:v:4:y:2007:i:2:p:149-178

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Related research

Keywords: regional economies; European regions; growth and convergence; specialisation;

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References

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  1. Zsolt Darvas & György Szapáry, 2008. "Business Cycle Synchronization in the Enlarged EU," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 1-19, February.
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  13. Sergio Nardis & Alessandro Goglio & Marco Malgarini, 1996. "Regional specialization and shocks in Europe: Some evidence from regional data," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 132(2), pages 197-214, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Enrico Marelli & Marcello Signorelli, 2010. "Employment, productivity and models of growth in the EU," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(7), pages 732-754, November.
  2. Correia, L. & Gouveia, S., 2013. "Business cycle synchronisation at the regional level: evidence for the Portuguese regions," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 13(1), pages 91-104.
  3. Eleni Gaki & Stella Kostopoulou & Dimitris Lagos, 2013. "Regional Inequalities In Greek Tourism Development," ERSA conference papers ersa13p729, European Regional Science Association.
  4. Novotný, JOSEF, 2011. "Convergence and divergence in living standards among regions of the enlarged European Union (1992-2006)," MPRA Paper 34145, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Mazurek, Jiří, 2013. "On beta and sigma convergence of Czech regions," MPRA Paper 47940, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. ANDRADE, Carlos & PINHO, Carlos & PINHO, Maria de Fátima, 2010. "Exploring Regional Convergence: Evidence From 19 European Countries, 1991-2008," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 10(2).
  7. Oana Ancuta Stangaciu, 2011. "The Dynamic Of Regional Trade Specialisation Pattern In Romania," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 3, pages 336-354, June.
  8. Marcello Signorelli & Enrico Marelli, 2007. "Institutional change, regional features and aggregate performance in eight EU’s transition countries," Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia, Finanza e Statistica 37/2007, Università di Perugia, Dipartimento Economia, Finanza e Statistica.
  9. Olga Demidova & Marcello Signorelli, 2010. "The Impact of Crises on Youth Unemployment of Russian Regions: An Empirical Analysis," Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia, Finanza e Statistica 78/2010, Università di Perugia, Dipartimento Economia, Finanza e Statistica.
  10. Josef Novotný, 2010. "Regional Convergence, Divergence and Other Aspects of Distributional Dynamics of European Regions in the Period 1992-2006," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2010(2), pages 166-185.
  11. TRIANDAFIL, Cristina Maria, 2013. "Sustainability of convergence in the context of macro-prudential policies in the European Union," Working Papers of National Institute of Economic Research 130618, National Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Triandafil, Cristina Maria, 2011. "The Analysis Of The Convergence Criteria. Empirical Perspective In The Context Of The Sustainable Character Highlight," Working Papers of National Institute of Economic Research 111205, National Institute of Economic Research.

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