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The Enlargement of the European Union and the Spatial Distribution of Economic Activity

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  • TONI MORA
  • ESTHER VAYÁ
  • JORDI SURIÑACH

Abstract

One of the challenges facing regional policy in the European Union is the accession of new countries to the Single Market and to Economic and Monetary Union. Conditions in many of these East European regions are worse than in the least developed regions of the fifteen existing member states. Moreover, the accession of these countries is likely to have a marked effect on the geographical distribution of economic activity in the rest of the European Union (EU). Taking this into account, this article discusses the lessons that we have learned from the latest adhesions to the EU, in order to be able to predict what will arise from the enlargement scheduled for mid-2004. In this sense, we compute specialization and concentration indexes in order to highlight the effects of enlargement on the spatial distribution of activity in the EU. Additionally, inequality measures are calculated to describe the evolution of regional disparities before and after enlargement. A regional and national database for EU15 and for candidate countries with a high degree of sectoral detail from 1985 to 2001 is compiled. Analysis and some recommendations for regional policy are provided.

Suggested Citation

  • Toni Mora & Esther Vayá & Jordi Suriñach, 2004. "The Enlargement of the European Union and the Spatial Distribution of Economic Activity," Eastern European Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(5), pages 6-35, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:eaeuec:v:42:y:2004:i:5:p:6-35
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Schäfer & Thomas Steger, 2014. "Journey into the Unknown? Economic Consequences of Factor Market Integration under Increasing Returns to Scale," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(4), pages 783-807, September.
    2. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Grossmann, Volker & Kohler, Wilhelm, 2012. "Migration, International Trade and Capital Formation: Cause or Effect ?," FSES Working Papers 436, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
    3. Scott W. Hegerty, 2016. "Regional Convergence and Growth Clusters in Central and Eastern Europe: An Examination of Sectoral-Level Data," Eastern European Business and Economics Journal, Eastern European Business and Economics Studies Centre, vol. 2(2), pages 95-110.
    4. Juan Jung, 2012. "Externalities and Absorptive Capacity in a context of Spatial Dependence: The case of European Regions," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 2212, Department of Economics - dECON.

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