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


  • Andrés Rodríguez-Pose

    (Professor of Economic Geography, London School of Economics; Visiting Professor, College of Europe (Bruges))

  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Ugo Fratesi, 2006. "Regional business cycles and the emergence of sheltered economies in the southern periphery of Europe," Bruges European Economic Research Papers 7, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.
  • Handle: RePEc:coe:wpbeer:7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Regional convergence clusters across Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 951-958, April.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
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    8. George Petrakos & Andrés Rodríguez-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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicola D. Coniglio & Francesco Prota, 2011. "Economic Crises and Regional Convergence in the EU: An Exploration of Facts, Theories and Policy Implications," Chapters,in: The Economic Crisis and European Integration, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Emilio Espino & Julian Kozlowski & Juan M. Sánchez, 2013. "Regionalization vs. globalization," Working Papers 2013-002, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    3. Roberto Ezcurra, 2011. "Unemployment Volatility and Regional Specialization in the European Union," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(8), pages 1121-1137.
    4. Hideaki Hirata & M. Ayhan Kose & Chris Otrok, "undated". "Regionalization vs. Globalization," Working Paper 164456, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    5. Andy Pike & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & John Tomaney & Gianpiero Torrisi & Vassilis Tselios, 2012. "In search of the ‘economic dividend’ of devolution: spatial disparities, spatial economic policy, and decentralisation in the UK," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 30(1), pages 10-28, February.
    6. Hasan Engin Duran, 2011. "Short run dynamics of income disparities and regional cycle synchronization," ERSA conference papers ersa11p937, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Ugo Fratesi & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2016. "The crisis and regional employment in Europe: what role for sheltered economies?," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 9(1), pages 33-57.
    8. Hasan Engin Duran, 2015. "Regional Employment Volatility In Turkey: Causes And Consequences," Working Papers 2015/06, Turkish Economic Association.
    9. Ageliki Anagnostou & Ioannis Panteladis & Maria Tsiapa, 2015. "Disentangling different patterns of business cycle synchronicity in the EU regions," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 615-641, August.
    10. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:8:p:1432-:d:108228 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Rodr�guez-Pose, Andr�s, 2017. "The revenge of the places that don't matter (and what to do about it)," CEPR Discussion Papers 12473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Andrea Elekes, 2011. "Cohesion and/or Growth?," Public Finance Quarterly, State Audit Office of Hungary, vol. 56(1), pages 108-124.
    13. Hasan Engin Duran, 2014. "Short-Run Dynamics of Income Disparities and Regional Cycle Synchronization in the U.S," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 292-332, June.
    14. Stefano Magrini & Margherita Gerolimetto & Hasan Engin Duran, 2011. "Distortions in Cross-Sectional Convergence Analysis when the Aggregate Business Cycle is Incomplete," Working Papers 2011_07, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    15. Salá Rios, Mercé & Farré Perdiguer, Mariona & Torres Solé, Teresa, 2011. "El ciclo económico de Cataluña. Un análisis de la simetría respecto a España y a la UEM/Catalonia's Business Cycle. An Analysis of the Symmetry in Relation to Spain and the EMU," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 29, pages 913(24á.)-9, Diciembre.

    More about this item


    Peripheral regions; business cycles; sheltered economies; convergence; France; Greece; Italy; Portugal; Spain. JEL codes: E32; R11.;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics


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