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Sources of convergence in the European Union: the case of Portugal


  • José Pedro Pontes


The paper surveys the main trends of per capita income convergence in the European Union. It stresses that income disparities have ceased to diminish across the European regions since 1980, although convergence between countries has continued in this period. Income levels have diverged inside each country in a weak sense with two exceptions. Theoretical forces behind income convergence are analized by means of the decomposition of per capita income in labor productivity and employment rate and applied to the stylized facts outlined above. The case of Portugal is regarded as an atypical one, since the country has converged as a whole to the European average and among its regions. The flexibility of the Portuguese labor market is regarded as the main factor behind this performance. However, the limited convergence of labor productivity bounds the expected future performance of the Portuguese economy.

Suggested Citation

  • José Pedro Pontes, 2001. "Sources of convergence in the European Union: the case of Portugal," Working Papers Department of Economics 2001/01, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
  • Handle: RePEc:ise:isegwp:wp12001

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    Regional Growth; Convergence; European Union; Portugal.;

    JEL classification:

    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)


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