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Regional disparities in the European Union and the enlargement process: an exploratory spatial data analysis, 1995–2000


  • Cem Ertur


  • Wilfried Koch



The aim of this paper is to study the space–time dynamics of European regional per capita gross domestic product (GDP) in the perspective of the enlargement of the European Union using exploratory spatial data analysis. We find strong evidence of global and local spatial autocorrelation as well as spatial heterogeneity in the distribution of regional per capita GDP in a sample of 258 European regions including regions from acceding and candidate European countries over the period 1995–2000. However, contrary to previous results obtained in the literature highlighting a North–South polarization scheme, the enlargement process leads to a new North–West–East polarization scheme. The economic dynamism of EU15 regions and acceding or candidate regions is also investigated by exploring the spatial pattern of regional growth. Implications for regional development and cohesion policies are finally suggested.
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Suggested Citation

  • Cem Ertur & Wilfried Koch, 2006. "Regional disparities in the European Union and the enlargement process: an exploratory spatial data analysis, 1995–2000," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 40(4), pages 723-765, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:40:y:2006:i:4:p:723-765 DOI: 10.1007/s00168-006-0062-x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Enrique López-Bazo & Esther Vayá & Manuel Artís, 2004. "Regional Externalities And Growth: Evidence From European Regions," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 43-73.
    2. Cem Ertur & Wilfried Koch, 2007. "Growth, technological interdependence and spatial externalities: theory and evidence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(6), pages 1033-1062.
    3. Michele Boldrin & Fabio Canova, 2001. "Inequality and convergence in Europe's regions: reconsidering European regional policies," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 205-253, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shankar, Raja & Shah, Anwar, 2009. "Lessons from European Union policies for regional development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4977, The World Bank.
    2. Mohl, Philipp & Hagen, Tobias, 2008. "Does EU Cohesion Policy Promote Growth? Evidence from Regional Data and Alternative Econometric Approaches," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-086, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Parhi, Mamata & Mishra, Tapas, 2009. "Spatial growth volatility and age-structured human capital dynamics in Europe," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 102(3), pages 181-184, March.
    4. Emanuela Marrocu & Raffaele Paci & Stefano Usai, 2013. "Productivity Growth In The Old And New Europe: The Role Of Agglomeration Externalities," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 418-442, August.
    5. Fredrik Wilhelmsson, 2009. "Effects of the EU-Enlargement on Income Convergence in the Eastern Border Regions," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0383, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    6. Gheorghe Savoiu & Marian Siminica, 2016. "Disparities, Discrepancies and Specific Concentration – Diversification Trends in the Group of Central and East European Ex-Socialist Countries," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 18(43), pages 503-503, August.
    7. Terry Gregory & Roberto Patuelli, 2015. "Demographic ageing and the polarization of regions—an exploratory space–time analysis," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 47(5), pages 1192-1210, May.
    8. Monasterolo, Irene & Benni, Federica, 2013. "Non parametric methods to assess the role of the CAP in regional convergence in Hungary," Studies in Agricultural Economics, Research Institute for Agricultural Economics, vol. 115(3), December.
    9. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Tobias Ketterer, 2018. "Institutional change and the development of lagging regions in Europe," Working Papers. Collection A: Public economics, governance and decentralization 1808, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
    10. Crespo Cuaresma, Jesus & Doppelhofer, Gernot & Huber, Florian & Piribauer, Philipp, 2015. "Growing Together? Projecting Income Growth in Europe at the Regional Level," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 4583, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    11. Michael Carroll & Neil Reid & Bruce Smith, 2008. "Location quotients versus spatial autocorrelation in identifying potential cluster regions," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 42(2), pages 449-463, June.
    12. Valentina Meliciani & Maria Savona, 2015. "The determinants of regional specialisation in business services: agglomeration economies, vertical linkages and innovation," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 387-416.
    13. 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.
    14. Cem Ertur & Julie Le Gallo, 2008. "Regional Growth and Convergence: Heterogenous reaction versus interaction in spatial econometric approaches," Working Papers hal-00463274, HAL.
    15. Sheila Chapman & Stefania Cosci & Loredana Mirra, 2012. "Income dynamics in an enlarged Europe: the role of capital regions," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 48(3), pages 663-693, June.
    16. Roberto EZCURRA, 2013. "Polarization Trends Across The European Regions," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 38, pages 11-26.
    17. José M. Pastor & Lorenzo Serrano, 2012. "European Integration and Inequality among Countries: A Lifecycle Income Analysis," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(1), pages 186-199, February.
    18. Chiara Del Bo & Massimo Florio & Giancarlo Manzi, 2010. "Regional Infrastructure and Convergence: Growth Implications in a Spatial Framework," Transition Studies Review, Springer;Central Eastern European University Network (CEEUN), vol. 17(3), pages 475-493, September.
    19. Mohl, P. & Hagen, T., 2010. "Do EU structural funds promote regional growth? New evidence from various panel data approaches," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 353-365, September.

    More about this item


    O18; O47; O52; R11; R12;

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)


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