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Real convergence and the determinants of growth in EU candidate and potential candidate countries: a panel data approach

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  • Morgese Borys, Magdalena
  • Polgár, Éva Katalin
  • Zlate, Andrei

Abstract

The EU candidate and potential candidate countries have made considerable progress in economic transition and integration into the world economy within less than two decades. Nevertheless, gaps in terms of income per capita relative to the euro area remain large. This suggests that the challenges of real convergence will remain relevant for the region even in the medium and long term. This paper therefore focuses on real convergence and its determinants in the candidate and potential candidate countries. The analysis reveals that total factor productivity growth has been the main driver of convergence, followed by capital deepening, whereas labour has contributed only marginally to economic growth. There is evidence of conditional convergence in the transition countries of central, eastern and south-eastern Europe. More specifi cally, controlling for the quality of institutions, the extent of market reforms and macroeconomic policies, there is a significant and negative link between the initial level of GDP and subsequent growth. Labour productivity has improved in most countries, while employment and participation rates have been falling. Structural changes have resulted in, at least temporarily, increasing labour market mismatches. Investment rates have been rising rapidly in recent years, and foreign direct investment has been found to have a positive impact on total investment. Investment in human capital is still at a relatively low level compared with the euro area average. Thus, in order to sustain the positive developments observed in the past, further improvements are needed in terms of labour productivity and utilisation, as well as in terms of physical and human capital accumulation. JEL Classification: F15, F43, O16, O43, O47, O52

Suggested Citation

  • Morgese Borys, Magdalena & Polgár, Éva Katalin & Zlate, Andrei, 2008. "Real convergence and the determinants of growth in EU candidate and potential candidate countries: a panel data approach," Occasional Paper Series 86, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbops:200886
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mariusz Jarmuzek & Biswajit Banerjee, 2009. "Anatomy of Regional Disparities in the Slovak Republic," IMF Working Papers 09/145, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Eleftherios Goulas & Athina Zervoyianni, 2013. "Economic growth and crime: does uncertainty matter?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(5), pages 420-427, March.
    3. Eleftherios Goulas & Athina Zervoyianni, 2012. "Growth, Deficits and Uncertainty in a Panel of 28 Countries," Working Paper series 52_12, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    4. Orszaghova, Lucia & Savelin, Li & Schudel, Willem, 2013. "External competitiveness of EU candidate countries," Occasional Paper Series 141, European Central Bank.
    5. Eleftherios Goulas & Athina Zervoyianni, 2013. "Growth, Deficits and Uncertainty: Theoretical Aspects and Empirical Evidence," Working Paper series 53_13, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    6. repec:eee:regeco:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:260-267 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Valerija Botric & Tanja Broz, 2016. "Exploring CESEE-EMU Synchronisation Patterns," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 18(42), pages 255-255, May.
    8. H. Lehmann & M. G. Silvagni, 2013. "Is There Convergence of Russia’s Regions? Exploring the Empirical Evidence: 1995 – 2010," Working Papers wp901, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    9. Orszaghova, Lucia & Savelin, Li & Schudel, Willem, 2013. "External competitiveness of EU candidate countries," Occasional Paper Series 141, European Central Bank.
    10. Athanasios Athanasenas & Xanthippi Chapsa & Athanasios Michailidis, 2015. "Investigating Social Protection Convergence in the EU-15: A Panel Data Analysis," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(2), pages 79-96.
    11. Eleftherios Goulas & Athina Zervoyianni, 2013. "The Growth-Crime Relationship: Are There any Asymmetries?," Working Paper series 54_13, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    12. Goulas, Eleftherios & Zervoyianni, Athina, 2015. "Economic growth and crime: Is there an asymmetric relationship?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 286-295.
    13. Marcin Grela & Aleksandra Majchrowska & Tomasz Michałek & Jakub Mućk & Agnieszka Stążka-Gawrysiak & Grzegorz Tchorek & Marcin Wagner, 2017. "Is Central and Eastern Europe converging towards the EU-15?," NBP Working Papers 264, Narodowy Bank Polski, Economic Research Department.
    14. E. Tsanana & X. Chapsa & C. Katrakilidis, 2016. "Is growth corrupted or bureaucratic? Panel evidence from the enlarged EU," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(33), pages 3131-3147, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    capital accumulation; conditional convergence; determinants of growth; EU candidate and potential candidate countries; labour markets; real convergence; total factor productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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