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Unbalanced development strategies and the lack of regional convergence in the EU

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  • Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés

    ()

  • Fratesi, Ugo

    ()

Abstract

European regional growth patterns have undergone two important changes in recent years. First, the process of convergence that dominated regional growth until the late 1970s and early 1980s has progressively given way to stability and divergence. Economic dynamism is increasingly concentrated in core metropolitan areas, whereas lagging regions in Europe are finding increasingly difficult to keep up with the pace of core regions. Second, the evolution of regional disparities, which in most countries tended to be pro-cyclical in the years of economic convergence is becoming anti-cyclical: lagging regions tend to outperform core areas in periods of relative economic decline. These two transformations are happening in spite of the efforts made by the EU, in order to promote development in the poorest regions of the EU, the so-called objective 1 regions. There are many possible reasons that may explain why European regional development policies have, so far, been unable to deliver greater growth in the periphery than in the core. Lack of adequate funding to curb centripetal market trends, lack of adequate co-ordination between actors are two of them. In this paper we will focus, however, on the inadequacy existing of regional policies. The implementation of unbalanced development policies, with a main focus on infrastructure development, together with other factors like the existing level of transfers and the rapid increase in non-market oriented jobs, is contributing to the generation of increasingly sheltered economies. The combination of these factors may be contributing, in our view, to the increasing of the gap between a competitive market-oriented core of Europe and an assisted and ill-prepared to compete periphery.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa02p415.

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Date of creation: Aug 2002
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa02p415

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kurt Geppert & Michael Happich & Andreas Stephan, 2005. "Regional Disparities in the European Union: Convergence and Agglomeration," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 525, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Esposti, Roberto, 2008. "Reforming The Cap: An Agenda For Regional Growth?," 109th Seminar, November 20-21, 2008, Viterbo, Italy 44868, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  3. Kurt Geppert & Martin Gornig & Andreas Stephan, 2003. "Regional productivity differences in the European Union - Theoretical predictions and empirical evidence," ERSA conference papers ersa03p171, European Regional Science Association.
  4. Andres Rodríguez-Pose & Ugo Fratesi, 2003. "Regional economic cycles and the emergence of sheltered economies in the periphery of the EU," ERSA conference papers ersa03p189, European Regional Science Association.
  5. Kurt Geppert & Martin Gornig & Andreas Stephan, 2003. "Productivity Differences in the European Union: National, Regional and Spatial Effects," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 383, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Eckey, Hans-Friedrich & Türck, Matthias, 2007. "Convergence of EU-Regions. A Literature Report," Investigaciones Regionales, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 10, pages 5-32.
  7. López-Rodríguez , Jesús & Faíña, Andrés, 2007. "Regional Wage Disparities in Europe: What role for Market Access?," Investigaciones Regionales, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 11, pages 5-23.
  8. Roberto Esposti, 2008. "Regional growth convergence and EU policies: Empirical evidence and measuring problems," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(1), pages 14-22, 04.

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