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Regional Specialization in the European Union


  • Roberto Ezcurra
  • Pedro Pascual
  • Manuel Rapun


Ezcurra R., Pascual P. and Rapun M. (2006) Regional specialization in the European Union, Regional Studies 40, 601-616. This paper examines productive specialization in the regions of the European Union between 1977 and 1999 using the information provided by a set of methodological instruments that allow one to overcome several of the limitations of the conventional approach used in this type of analysis. The results obtained reveal a process of convergence in regional productive structures during the 23 years considered. This is due to the behaviour of regions with high levels of specialization at the start of the period whose productive structures have tended to shift towards the European average over time. The analysis carried out also shows the major role played by regional size, market access and geographical location in explaining specialization in the European context. Ezcurra R., Pascual P. et Rapun M. (2006) La specialisation regionale dans l'Union europeenne, Regional Studies 40, 601-616. A partir des informations fournies par un ensemble d'outils methodologiques qui permettent de surmonter plusieurs des limitations de l'approche conventionnelle employee pour ce type d'analyse, cet article cherche a examiner la specialisation productive dans les regions de l'Union europeenne entre 1977 et 1999. Les resultats ainsi obtenus laissent voir un processus de convergence des structures productives regionales pendant les vingt-trois annees en question. Cela s'explique par le comportement des regions a haute intensite de specialisation au debut de la periode et dont les structures productives ont eu tendance a approcher de la moyenne europeenne sur le temps. L'analyse montre aussi le role primordial de la taille de la region, de l'acces au marche et de la localisation geographique comme moyens d'expliquer la specialisation dans le contexte europeen. Specialisation Activite economqiue Regions Union europeenne Ezcurra R., Pascual P. und Rapun M. (2006) Regionale Spezialisierung in der europaischen Union, Regional Studies 40, 601-616. Dieser Aufsatz untersucht Produktspezialisierung in den Regionen der Europaischen Union im Zeitraum von1977 bis 1999, wobei Informationen von einer Reihe methodologischer Instrumente benutzt werden, die es den Autoren gestatten, einige der Begrenzungen des konventionellen Ansatzes zu uberwinden, die zu dieser Art Analyse verwendet werden. Die so erhaltenen Ergebnisse erhellen einen Vorgang der Konvergenz regionaler Produktionsstrukturen, der sich uber die hier untersuchten dreiundzwanzig Jahre hinzieht. Dies ist dem Verhalten von Regionen hochgradiger Spezialisierung zu Beginn der Untersuchungsperiode zuzuschreiben, deren Produktionsstrukturen dazu neigten, sich im Laufe der Zeit dem europaischen Durchschnitt anzupassen. Die hier durchgefuhrte Analyse zeigt auch die betrachtliche Rolle, welche die Grosse einer Region, Zugang zum Markt und geographischer Standort bei der Erklarung der Spezialisierung im europaischen Zusammenhang spielt. Spezialisierung Wirtschaftliche Aktivitat Regionen Europaische Union Ezcurra R., Pascual P. y Rapun M. (2006) Especializacion regional en la Union Europea, Regional Studies 40, 601-616. En este articulo analizamos la especializacion productiva en las regiones de la Union Europea durante el periodo de 1977 a 1999 con ayuda de informacion recabada mediante una serie de instrumentos metodologicos con los que hemos podido superar algunas limitaciones de los enfoques convencionales que normalmente se utilizan en este tipo de analisis. Los resultados obtenidos indican un proceso de convergencia en las estructuras productivas de las regiones durante el periodo estudiado que abarca veintitres anos. Esto se debe al comportamiento de las regiones con altos niveles de especializacion al principio del periodo, donde las estructuras productivas tienden a cambiar hacia la media europea con el paso del tiempo. Con este analisis tambien demostramos el papel principal que desempenan el tamano regional, el acceso al mercado y la localizacion geografica geografica a la hora de explicar la especializacion en un contexto europeo. Especializacion Actividad economica Regiones Union Europea

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto Ezcurra & Pedro Pascual & Manuel Rapun, 2006. "Regional Specialization in the European Union," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(6), pages 601-616.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:40:y:2006:i:6:p:601-616
    DOI: 10.1080/00343400600868754

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Francisco Diniz, 2009. "Productive Specialization And Regional Development In Portugal At The Nuts Iii Level," Romanian Journal of Regional Science, Romanian Regional Science Association, vol. 3(2), pages 90-111, DECEMBER.
    2. Oana Ancuta Stangaciu, 2011. "The Dynamic Of Regional Trade Specialisation Pattern In Romania," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 3(2), pages 336-354, June.
    3. Liargovas, Panagiotis & Daskalopoulou, Irene, 2011. "Capital allocation in the Greek regions," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 866-888.
    4. Longhi, Christian & Musolesi, Antonio & Baumont, Catherine, 2014. "Modeling structural change in the European metropolitan areas during the process of economic integration," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 395-407.
    5. repec:got:cegedp:106 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Krenz, Astrid & Rübel, Gerhard, 2010. "Industrial localization and countries' specialization in the European Union: An empirical investigation," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 106, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    7. Maria Tsiapa, 2014. "Industrial Concentration Patterns of the European Union," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(3), pages 5-33.
    8. Michal Brzezinski, 2013. "Income polarization and economic growth," Working Papers 296, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    9. Vicente Rios Ibáñez & Roberto Ezcurra, 2013. "Volatility and regional growth in Europe: Does space matter?," ERSA conference papers ersa13p133, European Regional Science Association.
    10. Rita De Siano & Marcella D'Uva, 2010. "Specialization and growth in Italy: what spatial econometric analysis tells us," Discussion Papers 1_2010, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    11. Grigorovici, Corina, 2009. "Analysing The Degree Of Specialization In Romania’S Services Trade," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 6(1), pages 94-114, March.
    12. repec:spr:anresc:v:59:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00168-017-0843-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Caleiro, António, 2010. "Como se pode distinguir Évora do resto do Alentejo?: Uma abordagem de estatística espacial
      [How can Évora be distinguished from the rest of Alentejo: A spatial statistics approach]
      ," MPRA Paper 22057, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 12 Apr 2010.
    14. Ezcurra, Roberto, 2007. "Is there cross-country convergence in carbon dioxide emissions?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 1363-1372, February.
    15. Roberto Ezcurra, 2009. "Does Income Polarization Affect Economic Growth? The Case of the European Regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(2), pages 267-285.
    16. Jaramillo, Daiana & Calá, Carla Daniela & Belmartino, Andrea, 2016. "Especialización industrial en Argentina: patrones provinciales y evolución reciente (1996-2014)," Nülan. Deposited Documents 2743, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Sociales, Centro de Documentación.
    17. Rita De Siano & Marcella D'Uva, 2012. "Italian regional specialization: a spatial analysis," Discussion Papers 7_2012, CRISEI, University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    18. Toni Mora & Rosina Moreno, 2010. "Specialisation changes in European regions: the role played by externalities across regions," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 311-334, September.
    19. Astrid KRENZ & Gerhard RÜBEL, "undated". "Explaining Industrial Localization and Countries´ Specialization in the European Union: An Empirical Investigation," EcoMod2009 21500056, EcoMod.
    20. Margarita Billon & Roberto Ezcurra & Fernando Lera-Lãpez, 2009. "Spatial Effects in Website Adoption by Firms in European Regions," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 54-84.
    21. Francisco Diniz & Maria Teresa Sequeira, 2015. "Portrait Of Portugal’s Nut Iii Regions In Productive Location Clusters," Economy of region, Centre for Economic Security, Institute of Economics of Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, vol. 1(1), pages 104-114.
    22. Manolis Christofakis & Nicholas Karachalis & Athanassios Papadaskalopoulos, 2006. "EU-Supported Regional Development After 2007: Lessons Learnt and Future Priorities of the Greek Regions Falling Under the New "Competitiveness" Objective Programmes," ERSA conference papers ersa06p109, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item


    Specialization; Economic activity; Regions; European Union;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • 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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