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Regional Policies and EU Enlargement

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  • Boldrin, Michele
  • Canova, Fabio

Abstract

Taking both the enlargement process, as currently defined by the EU, and the structural funds as a given, this Paper examines what is the best way for candidate countries to fuel real convergence. The experience from earlier EU enlargements and current economic conditions within the CEEC10 suggest that placing too high expectations on enlargement per se would be misplaced. Further, regional transfers taking place under the structural and cohesion policies are unlikely to become the growth engines of the CEEC10. They may increase income in the receiving countries by an amount equal to the one transferred, but there is no evidence they will have an impact on long-run growth rates. To achieve long-run growth at rates higher than average an appropriate mix of European and national policies is needed. This includes further fostering of trade integration within the EU, restructuring public spending, creation of supply side incentives by proper reforms of fiscal and social insurance policies, free movement of capital and labour, together with a competitive level of labour income taxation. Based on historical experience two types of policies appear to be particularly relevant. First, public programs for long-term income support, corporate subsidies and other forms of income transfer have negative effect on economic growth. We believe they should be terminated as soon as possible. Second, labour and capital mobility are good for growth and economic convergence. In particular, the adoption or continuation of various transfer and/or regulation policies aimed at eliminating labour migration from the CEEC is wrong and damaging. The fear of migration has been magnified by skillful politicians: migrations in past enlargements have been small. There is no reason to expect it to be large in this case.

Suggested Citation

  • Boldrin, Michele & Canova, Fabio, 2003. "Regional Policies and EU Enlargement," CEPR Discussion Papers 3744, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3744
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Caselli & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "Is Poland the Next Spain?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2004, pages 459-533 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alho, Kari E.O. & Kaitila, Ville & Widgrén, Mika, 2005. "Speed of Convergence and Relocation: New EU Member Countries Catching up with the Old," Discussion Papers 963, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    3. Sassi, Maria & Pecci, Francesco, 2008. "Agricultural and Economic Convergence in the EU Integration Process: Do Geographical Relationships Matter?," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44459, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Koethenbuerger, Marko, 2014. "Competition for migrants in a federation: Tax or transfer competition?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 110-118.
    5. Cristobal, Adolfo, 2007. "Trade and migration: a U-shaped transition in Eastern Europe," MPRA Paper 3446, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Frank Barry & Iain Begg, 2003. "EMU and Cohesion: Introduction," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(5), pages 781-796, December.
    7. Massimo FLORIO & Silvia VIGNETTI, 2003. "Cost-benefit analysis of infrastructure projects in an enlarged European Union: an incentive-oriented approach," Departmental Working Papers 2003-13, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    8. Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés & Novak, Katja, 2013. "Learning processes and economic returns in European Cohesion policy," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 25, pages 1-20.
    9. Kutan, Ali M. & Yigit, Taner M., 2007. "European integration, productivity growth and real convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1370-1395, August.
    10. Ramajo, Julián & Márquez, Miguel A. & Hewings, Geoffrey J.D. & Salinas, María M., 2008. "Spatial heterogeneity and interregional spillovers in the European Union: Do cohesion policies encourage convergence across regions?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 551-567, April.
    11. Alho, Kari E.O. & Kaitila, Ville & Widgrén, Mika, 2008. "Offshoring, Relocation and the Speed of Convergence in the Enlarged European Union," Discussion Papers 1156, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    12. Monga, Celestin, 2004. "Latvia's macroeconomic options in the medium term : fiscal and monetary challenges of European Union membership," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3307, The World Bank.
    13. International Monetary Fund, 2008. "Macroeconomic Effects of EU Transfers in New Member States," IMF Working Papers 08/223, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Robert Fenge & Volker Meier, 2006. "Subsidies for Wages and Infrastructure: How to Restrain Undesired Immigration," CESifo Working Paper Series 1741, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. Massimo Florio & Silvia Vignetti, 2005. "Cost-benefit Analysis of Infrastructure Projects in an Enlarged European Union: Returns and Incentives," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 179-210, December.
    16. Azomahou, Théophile T. & El ouardighi, Jalal & Nguyen-Van, Phu & Pham, Thi Kim Cuong, 2011. "Testing convergence of European regions: A semiparametric approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 1202-1210, May.
    17. Daniela ANTONESCU, 2012. "Identifying Regional Economic Disparities and Convergence in Romania," Journal of Knowledge Management, Economics and Information Technology, ScientificPapers.org, vol. 2(2), pages 1-8, April.
    18. Paavo Okko, 2003. "Regional growth and convergence via integration – the case of the large EU," ERSA conference papers ersa03p445, European Regional Science Association.
    19. Jacques Pelkmans & Jean-Pierre Casey, 2004. "Can Europe Deliver Growth? The Sapir Report and Beyond," Bruges European Economic Policy Briefings 6, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.
    20. Canova, Fabio & Favero, Carlo A., 2005. "Monetary Policy in the Euro Area: Lessons from Five Years of ECB and Implications for Turkey," CEPR Discussion Papers 5101, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. Silvia Vignetti & Emanuela Sirtori, 2010. "Infrastructure investment opportunities in the New EU Member States: the role of regional policies," Working Papers 201003, CSIL Centre for Industrial Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    convergence; labour and capital mobility; regional policies; structural funds;

    JEL classification:

    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General

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