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Regional business cycles and the emergence of sheltered economies in the southern periphery of Europe

  • Andrés Rodríguez-Pose

    (London School of Economics, College of Europe)

  • Ugo Fratesi

    (Politecnico di Milano - Department of Building Environment Science and Technology (BEST))

Recent research has highlighted that in the last few years the evolution of regional disparities in many European states has become pro-cyclical. This represents a change with respect to the predominantly anti-cyclical pattern of the 1960s and 1970s. This paper addresses the question of whether and when this change has taken place in the southern periphery of Europe, before analyzing the factors that may have played a role in such a change. The analysis relies on a regional database that includes the evolution of the GDP per capita of NUTS II regions in five European countries (France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain) between 1980 and 2000. The results of the analysis support the hypothesis of a change towards a pro-cyclical evolution of regional disparities in the cases of Italy, Portugal, and Spain, but not in those of Greece and France. A relationship between these pro-cyclical patters and the emergence of less dynamic sheltered economies is also detected in peripheral regions. This lack of dynamism is related to the fact that numerous peripheral areas in southern Europe have become increasingly dependent on factors such as transfers or public investment and employment, and therefore are less exposed to changes in market conditions.

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Paper provided by European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe in its series Bruges European Economic Research Papers with number 7.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:coe:wpbeer:7
Contact details of provider: Postal: Dijver 11, B-8000 Brugge
Web page: http://www.coleurope.eu
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  1. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Regional convergence clusters across Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 951-958, April.
  2. K.H. Midelfart & H.G. Overman & S.J. Redding & A.J. Venables, 2000. "The location of European industry," European Economy - Economic Papers 142, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  3. A. Rodriguez-Pose & Riccardo Crescenzi, 2006. "R&D, spillovers, innovatoin systems and the genesis of regional growth in Europe," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0067, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
  4. Karen Helene Midelfart-Knarvik & Henry G. Overman, 2002. "Delocation and European integration: is structural spending justified?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 321-359, October.
  5. Diego Puga, 2002. "European regional policies in light of recent location theories," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(4), pages 373-406, October.
  6. George Petrakos & Andr�s Rodr�guez-Pose & Antonis Rovolis, 2005. "Growth, integration, and regional disparities in the European Union," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 37(10), pages 1837-1855, October.
  7. Quah, Danny, 1996. "Regional Convergence Clusters Across Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 1286, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Costas Megir & Danny Quah, 1996. "Regional Convergence Clusters Across Europe," CEP Discussion Papers dp0274, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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