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EU accession: A road to fast-track convergence?

  • Uwe Böwer
  • Alessandro Turrini

This paper investigates the accession-related economic boom in the countries which recently entered the European Union. The analysis tests whether, on top of the standard growth determinants, the period of EU accession made a significant difference to the growth performance of the New Member States (NMS). The paper finds that the period of EU accession is characterised by significantly larger growth rates of per-capita GDP, even after controlling for a wide range of economic and institutional factors. This effect is robust and particularly strong for countries with relatively low initial income levels, weak institutional quality and less advanced financial development, suggesting that EU accession has been speeding up the catching-up process and improved the institutions of the laggards among the NMS. The prospect of EU membership which has triggered large capital inflows seems to have fostered economic growth of those NMS with lower degrees of financial depth.

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File URL: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/publication16470_en.pdf
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Paper provided by Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission in its series European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 with number 393.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0393
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  1. Jesus Crespo Cuaresma & Doris Ritzberger-Grunwald & Maria Antoinette Silgoner, 2008. "Growth, convergence and EU membership," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(5), pages 643-656.
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  7. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472 Elsevier.
  8. Ansgar Belke & Ingo Bordon & Inna Melnykovska & Rainer Schweickert, 2009. "Prospective NATO or EU Membership and Institutional Change in Transition Countries," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 915, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  9. Maria L. Di Tommaso & Martin Raiser & Melvyn Weeks, 2007. "Home Grown or Imported? Initial Conditions, External Anchors and the Determinants of Institutional Reform in the Transition Economies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(520), pages 858-881, 04.
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