Convergence of real GDP per capita in the EU15. How do the Accession Countries fit in?
The EU15 countries’ real GDP per capita levels adjusted for purchasing power converged in 1960–2001. Convergence occurred in two spells, in 1960–73 and 1986–2001, with an interim period of stagnation. In this paper, we analyse both s and b convergence and discuss the impact of EU membership, trade and investment. We also analyse how seven accession countries fit into the historical picture of the EU15 area. The CEE countries are wellpositioned to catch up with the incumbent EU countries. After the mid-1990s, an increase in productivity and high investment rates have supported economic growth in the accession countries. Still, the experience of the EU15 countries shows that convergence cannot be taken for granted.
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