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The Evaluation of an Economic Distance Among Countries: A Novel Approach


  • Jiří Mazurek


The aim of the article is to propose a new measure of a relative economic distance between two countries (RED) or among a group of countries (GRED). Both measures enable to evaluate ´proximity´ between national economies through time series of selected variables, and are related to the concept of the sigma (beta) convergence introduced by Barro and Sala-i Martin (1995). In the empirical part of the paper, the RED of Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, the USA and Japan with regard to the Czech Republic are estimated, as well as the time evolution of the GRED of the Czech Republic and its neighbours. The main finding is the strong convergence among these countries after the outbreak of the financial crisis which persists to this day.

Suggested Citation

  • Jiří Mazurek, 2012. "The Evaluation of an Economic Distance Among Countries: A Novel Approach," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2012(3), pages 277-290.
  • Handle: RePEc:prg:jnlpep:v:2012:y:2012:i:3:id:424:p:277-290

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
    2. Moreno, Ramon & Trehan, Bharat, 1997. "Location and the Growth of Nations," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 399-418, December.
    3. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    4. Matthew Higgins & Daniel Levy & Andrew Young, 2003. "Sigma Convergence Versus Beta Convergence: Evidence from County-level Data," Emory Economics 0316, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    5. María Teresa Ramírez & Ana María Loboguerero, 2002. "Spatial Dependence and Economic Growth: Evidence from a panel of Countries," Borradores de Economia 206, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    6. Maria ABREU & Henri L.F. DE GROOT & Raymond J.G.M. FLORAX, 2005. "Space And Growth: A Survey Of Empirical Evidence And Methods," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 21, pages 13-44.
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    More about this item


    unemployment; correlation; GDP; relative economic distance; the Czech Republic;

    JEL classification:

    • C19 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Other
    • F50 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - General
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries


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