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Real convergence and the determinants of growth in EU candidate and potential candidate countries - a panel data approach

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Author Info

  • Magdalena Morgese Borys
  • Éva Katalin Polgár
  • Andrei Zlate

Abstract

The EU candidate and potential candidate countries have made considerable progress in economic transition and integration into the world economy within less than two decades. Nevertheless, gaps in terms of income per capita relative to the euro area remain large. This suggests that the challenges of real convergence will remain relevant for the region even in the medium and long term. This paper therefore focuses on real convergence and its determinants in the candidate and potential candidate countries. The analysis reveals that total factor productivity growth has been the main driver of convergence, followed by capital deepening, whereas labour has contributed only marginally to economic growth. There is evidence of conditional convergence in the transition countries of central, eastern and south-eastern Europe. More specifi cally, controlling for the quality of institutions, the extent of market reforms and macroeconomic policies, there is a significant and negative link between the initial level of GDP and subsequent growth. Labour productivity has improved in most countries, while employment and participation rates have been falling. Structural changes have resulted in, at least temporarily, increasing labour market mismatches. Investment rates have been rising rapidly in recent years, and foreign direct investment has been found to have a positive impact on total investment. Investment in human capital is still at a relatively low level compared with the euro area average. Thus, in order to sustain the positive developments observed in the past, further improvements are needed in terms of labour productivity and utilisation, as well as in terms of physical and human capital accumulation. JEL Classification: F15, F43, O16, O43, O47, O52.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Occasional Paper Series with number 86.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbops:20080086

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Related research

Keywords: Real convergence; conditional convergence; determinants of growth; total factor productivity; labour markets; capital accumulation; EU candidate and potential candidate countries.;

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Cited by:
  1. Eleftherios Goulas & Athina Zervoyianni, 2012. "Growth, Deficits and Uncertainty in a Panel of 28 Countries," Working Paper Series 52_12, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  2. Juan Carlos Cuestas & Mercedes Monfort & Javier Ordóñez, 2012. "Real Convergence in Europe: A Cluster Analysis," Working Papers 2012023, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
  3. Matthieu Bussière & Emilia Pérez‐Barreiro & Roland Straub & Daria Taglioni, 2011. "Protectionist Responses to the Crisis: Global Trends and Implications," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34, pages 826-852, 05.
  4. Eleftherios Goulas & Athina Zervoyianni, 2013. "The Growth-Crime Relationship: Are There any Asymmetries?," Working Paper Series 54_13, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  5. H. Lehmann & M. G. Silvagni, 2013. "Is There Convergence of Russia’s Regions? Exploring the Empirical Evidence: 1995 – 2010," Working Papers wp901, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  6. Mariusz Jarmuzek & Biswajit Banerjee, 2009. "Anatomy of Regional Disparities in the Slovak Republic," IMF Working Papers 09/145, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Marija Trpkova & Biljana Tashevska, 2011. "Determinants Of Economic Growth In South - East Europe: A Panel Data Approach," Perspectives of Innovation in Economics and Business (PIEB), Prague Development Center, vol. 7(1), pages 12-15, January.
  8. Eleftherios Goulas & Athina Zervoyianni, 2012. "Economic Growth and Crime: Does Uncertainty Matter?," Working Paper Series 51_12, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  9. Orszaghova, Lucia & Savelin, Li & Schudel, Willem, 2013. "External competitiveness of EU candidate countries," Occasional Paper Series 141, European Central Bank.
  10. Klaus Masuch & Ramon Gómez-Salvador & Nadine Leiner-Killinger & Rolf Strauch & Jarkko Turunen & Melanie Ward-Warmedinger & Jan De Mulder & Harald Stahl & Yvonne McCarthy & Daphne Nicolitsas & Aitor L, 2008. "Labour supply and employment in the euro area countries - developments and challenges," Occasional Paper Series 87, European Central Bank.
  11. Eleftherios Goulas & Athina Zervoyianni, 2013. "Growth, Deficits and Uncertainty: Theoretical Aspects and Empirical Evidence," Working Paper Series 53_13, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.

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