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Heading for Divergence? Regional Growth in Europe Reconsidered

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  • Jan Fagerberg
  • Bart Verspagen

Abstract

This article analyses regional growth in the European Union (EU) in the postwar period. We examine the levels and growth of per capita GDP for a sample of 70 regions, covering six of the EU Member States. We find that after a slow, but steady reduction of differences in GDP per capita across European regions during most of the post-war period, there are now some signs of a reversal in this trend. This does not imply that differences in levels of productivity and income across European regions are now reduced to a negligible level. Rather, the explanation is that other variables, notably R&D effort, investment support from the EU, the structure of GDP and differences in unemployment have had a diverging impact. We also find some support for the idea of a 'Europe at different speeds', with at least three different 'growth clubs' characterized by different dynamics, productivity and unemployment levels. Copyright 1996 BPL.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Fagerberg & Bart Verspagen, 1996. "Heading for Divergence? Regional Growth in Europe Reconsidered," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(3), pages 431-448, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jcmkts:v:34:y:1996:i:3:p:431-448
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier X., 1996. "Regional cohesion: Evidence and theories of regional growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1325-1352, June.
    2. M. V. Posner, 1961. "International Trade And Technical Change," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 323-341.
    3. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1991. "Convergence across States and Regions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 107-182.
    4. Steven N. Durlauf & Paul A. Johnson, 1992. "Local Versus Global Convergence Across National Economies," NBER Working Papers 3996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Sala-i-Martin, X., 1994. "Regional Cohesion: Evidence and the Theories of Regional Growth and Convergence," Papers 716, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    6. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Convergence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 223-251, April.
    7. Giovanni Dosi & Keith Pavitt & Luc Soete, 1990. "The Economics of Technical Change and International Trade," LEM Book Series, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy, number dosietal-1990, August.
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