Is Internal Migration Relevant to Regional Convergence? Comparative Analysis Across Five European Countries
This paper carries out a comparative analysis across five European countries of the impact of internal migration on regional income convergence process at NUTS 2 level. Convergence can be defined as the process by which poorer regions catch up richer regions and, as a consequence, regional disparities decrease. The phenomenon is appreciated using the concepts of sigma- and beta-convergence. Theoretically, human migration is one vital adjustment mechanism of regional disequilibria which contributes to enhancing convergence. The study uses the methodology of two-way fixed effects panel data model and its main results point out at sigma-divergence in income evolution in Hungary and Romania and at sigma-convergence trends in Austria, Spain and rather constancy in Sweden. Instead, all countries but for Sweden exhibited beta-convergence. Hungary, Sweden and Spain recorded relatively higher gross migration rates. But despite this fact, internal migration’s impact on beta-convergence was quite small (Romania and Spain) or inexistent (Austria, Hungary and Sweden).
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