EU regional convergence and policy: Does the concept of region matter?
Regional convergence has become a heated topic in the last decades. To address it, most papers define regions on the base of normative/administrative criteria, although some consider that it could lead to misleading conclusions. In view of that, this article explores, over the period 1995–2006, the per capita income distribution of two sets of European regions: administrative (NUTS2) and functional (Metropolitan) regions. From a methodological point of view, a distribution dynamics approach – examining the external shape and movements within these distributions – is applied to analyse the issue of convergence. The study does reveal the presence of a process of convergence across both types of regions; however, this seems to be more rapid with Metropolitan than NUTS2 regions, which prompt us to proposing some relative major changes in the EU regional policy.
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