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Regional Disparities in Income and Unemployment in Europe

In: European Regional Growth


  • Ådne Cappelen

    (University of Oslo)

  • Fulvio Castellacci

    (University of Oslo)

  • Jan Fagerberg

    (University of Oslo)

  • Bart Verspagen

    (Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS))


Greater equality across Europe in productivity and per capita income has been one of the central goals for the European Community since the early days of European economic integration. Various policy measures have been introduced to help achieve this goal (the so-called “Structural Funds”). For a long time the regions of Europe were on a converging path and, hence, the existing set of policies seemed to have the desired effect (Molle 1980). More recent evidence has, however, challenged these previous findings by showing that the tendency towards convergence came to a halt in the beginning of the 1980s (Fagerberg and Verspagen 1996, Cappelen, Fagerberg and Verspagen 1999). This evidence, based on data for 12 EU countries up 1997 and presented in section 2 of this Chapter, confirms that there is very little regional convergence going on within EU member states. To the extent that there has been any convergence, it appears to be at the country level mainly due to strong growth in Portugal and Spain.

Suggested Citation

  • Ådne Cappelen & Fulvio Castellacci & Jan Fagerberg & Bart Verspagen, 2003. "Regional Disparities in Income and Unemployment in Europe," Advances in Spatial Science, in: Bernard Fingleton (ed.), European Regional Growth, chapter 11, pages 323-350, Springer.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:adspcp:978-3-662-07136-6_12
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-662-07136-6_12

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    Cited by:

    1. Kurt Geppert & Andreas Stephan, 2008. "Regional disparities in the European Union: Convergence and agglomeration," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 193-217, June.
    2. Mindaugas Butkus & Diana Cibulskiene & Alma Maciulyte-Sniukiene & Kristina Matuzeviciute, 2018. "What Is the Evolution of Convergence in the EU? Decomposing EU Disparities up to NUTS 3 Level," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(5), pages 1-37, May.


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