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Heading for Divergence? Regional Growth in Europe Reconsidered

  • Jan Fagerberg
  • Bart Verspagen

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.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Common Market Studies.

Volume (Year): 34 (1996)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 431-448

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jcmkts:v:34:y:1996:i:3:p:431-448
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