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Development and Regional Disparities – Testing the Williamson Curve Hypothesis in the European Union

Listed author(s):
  • Béla Szörfi


    (Kopint-Tárki Economic Research Institute)

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    In this paper I examine the relationship between within-country regional disparities and the development of nations in the enlarged European Union. Using panel data methods, I find evidence on the Williamson curve hypothesis, which says that disparities are lower in the early stages of development, peak in middle-income stages, but diminish again as a country becomes rich. More importantly, however, I point out that several factors have a greater influence on disparities than national income. Among these country-specific factors, the date of EU accession plays an outstanding role, being responsible for more than one-half of the differences in regional disparities between the Member States. Four other factors connected to EU membership are also possible reasons for the disparities: the economic transition process in the new Member States, Economic and Monetary Union, the funds made available by the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds as well as effective institutions.

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    Article provided by Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank) in its journal Focus on European Economic Integration.

    Volume (Year): (2007)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 100-121

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    Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbfi:y:2007:i:2:b:4
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