IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Social exclusion and convergence in the EU: An assessment of the Europe 2020 strategy


  • Juan Ángel Lafuente

    (IEI and Department of Finance and Accounting, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)

  • Amparo Marco

    (IEI and Department of Finance and Accounting, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)

  • Mercedes Monfort

    (IEI and Department of Economics, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)

  • Javier Ordóñez

    (IEI and Department of Economics, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)


Economic convergence has long been a declared objective of the EU and considered the fundamental mechanism for achieving socioeconomic cohesion. The recent economic crisis had an uneven impact across EU countries and brought a halt to the process of economic and social convergence. In response to this situation, the Europe 2020 strategy, launched in 2010, aimed to deliver social and territorial cohesion in the Member States. In this paper we evaluate the poverty and social exclusion pillar of the Europe 2020 strategy by analysing whether it has promoted convergence across the EU countries in the indicators devised to capture risk of poverty, severe material deprivation, and the number of persons living in households with very low work intensity. Our results for all three rates indicate that convergence occurs in heterogeneous clubs that do not follow a geographic east-west or south- north pattern. Convergence within each club, especially for the severe deprivation rate, takes place by means of a catching-up process, with eastern European levels converging on the western levels. Finally, not only is there club convergence, but there is no tendency for the clubs to convergence. Poverty and social cohesion indicators show a multi-speed Europe, casting doubt on the sustainability of the overall convergence process in the EU.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Ángel Lafuente & Amparo Marco & Mercedes Monfort & Javier Ordóñez, 2020. "Social exclusion and convergence in the EU: An assessment of the Europe 2020 strategy," Working Papers 2020/10, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
  • Handle: RePEc:jau:wpaper:2020/10

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Quah, Danny T, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 1045-1055, July.
    2. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
    3. Bernard, Andrew B & Durlauf, Steven N, 1995. "Convergence in International Output," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 97-108, April-Jun.
    4. De Grauwe, Paul & Ji, Yuemei, 2013. "Self-fulfilling crises in the Eurozone: An empirical test," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 15-36.
    5. Monfort, Mercedes & Cuestas, Juan Carlos & Ordóñez, Javier, 2013. "Real convergence in Europe: A cluster analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 689-694.
    6. Mihály Borsi & Norbert Metiu, 2015. "The evolution of economic convergence in the European Union," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 657-681, March.
    7. Agell Jonas, 2002. "On the Determinants of Labour Market Institutions: Rent Seeking vs. Social Insurance," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 107-135, May.
    8. Angelini, Elisabetta Croci & Farina, Francesco, 2012. "Current account imbalances and systemic risk within a monetary union," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 647-656.
    9. Peter C. B. Phillips & Donggyu Sul, 2007. "Transition Modeling and Econometric Convergence Tests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(6), pages 1771-1855, November.
    10. Javier Ordóñez & Hector Sala & José Silva, 2015. "Real unit labour costs in Eurozone countries: drivers and clusters," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-19, December.
    11. Karen‐Helene Midelfart & Henry G. Overman & Anthony J. Venables, 2003. "Monetary Union and the Economic Geography of Europe," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(5), pages 847-868, December.
    12. Quah, Danny, 1996. "Twin peaks : growth and convergence in models of distribution dynamics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2278, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. Mercedes Monfort & Javier Ordóñez & Hector Sala, 2018. "Inequality and Unemployment Patterns in Europe: Does Integration Lead to (Real) Convergence?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 703-724, September.
    14. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
    15. Bernard, Andrew B. & Durlauf, Steven N., 1996. "Interpreting tests of the convergence hypothesis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1-2), pages 161-173.
    16. T. W. Swan, 1956. "ECONOMIC GROWTH and CAPITAL ACCUMULATION," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(2), pages 334-361, November.
    17. Peter C. B. Phillips & Donggyu Sul, 2009. "Economic transition and growth," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(7), pages 1153-1185.
    18. Danny Quah, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0280, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    19. Carlino, Gerald A. & Mills, Leonard O., 1993. "Are U.S. regional incomes converging? : A time series analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 335-346, November.
    20. Bartkowska, Monika & Riedl, Aleksandra, 2012. "Regional convergence clubs in Europe: Identification and conditioning factors," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 22-31.
    21. Diaz del Hoyo, Juan Luis & Dorrucci, Ettore & Heinz, Frigyes Ferdinand & Muzikarova, Sona, 2017. "Real convergence in the euro area: a long-term perspective," Occasional Paper Series 203, European Central Bank.
    22. Toni Mora, 2008. "Factors conditioning the formation of European regional convergence clubs," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 42(4), pages 911-927, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Łukasz Mach & Karina Bedrunka & Ireneusz Dąbrowski & Paweł Frącz, 2021. "The Relationship between ROP Funds and Sustainable Development—A Case Study for Poland," Energies, MDPI, vol. 14(9), pages 1-19, May.
    2. Łukasz Mach & Karina Bedrunka & Anna Kuczuk & Marzena Szewczuk-Stępień, 2021. "Effect of Structural Funds on Housing Market Sustainability Development—Correlation, Regression and Wavelet Coherence Analysis," Risks, MDPI, vol. 9(10), pages 1-17, October.
    3. Marek Walesiak & Grażyna Dehnel, 2020. "The Measurement of Social Cohesion at Province Level in Poland Using Metric and Interval-Valued Data," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(18), pages 1-19, September.
    4. Kozar Łukasz, 2021. "Non-Monetary Indicators of Social Exclusion – A Multidimensional Comparative Analysis of the Eu-10 Countries," Econometrics. Advances in Applied Data Analysis, Sciendo, vol. 25(4), pages 40-53, December.
    5. Miguel Blanco & Marcos Ferasso & Lydia Bares, 2021. "Evaluation of the Effects on Regional Production and Employment in Spain of the Renewable Energy Plan 2011–2020," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(6), pages 1-14, March.
    6. Beata Bieszk-Stolorz & Krzysztof Dmytrów, 2022. "Assessment of the Similarity of the Situation in the EU Labour Markets and Their Changes in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(6), pages 1-20, March.
    7. Maynou, Laia & Ordóñez, Javier & Silva, José Ignacio, 2022. "Convergence and determinants of young people not in employment, education or training: An European regional analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 110(C).
    8. Beata Bieszk-Stolorz & Krzysztof Dmytrów, 2020. "Influence of Accession of the Visegrad Group Countries to the EU on the Situation in Their Labour Markets," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(16), pages 1-16, August.
    9. Juan Carlos Cuestas & Mercedes Monfort & Javier Ordóñez, 2021. "The education pillar of the Europe 2020 strategy: a convergence analysis," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1113-1129, November.
    10. Marlena Piekut & Kamil Piekut, 2022. "Changes in Patterns of Consumer Spending in European Households," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(19), pages 1-25, October.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Juan C. Cuestas & Mercedes Monfort & Javier Ordóñez, 2021. "Stochastic convergence in real personal disposable income in the EU: A note," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(4), pages 6390-6394, October.
    2. Charles Shaaba Saba & Nicholas Ngepah & Christian Nsiah, 2020. "Convergence in military expenditure and economic growth in Africa and its regional economic communities: evidence from a club clustering algorithm," Cogent Economics & Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 1832344-183, January.
    3. Kacou Yves Thierry Kacou, 2022. "Interregional inequality in Africa, convergence, and multiple equilibria: Evidence from nighttime light data," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 918-940, May.
    4. Sulekha Hembram & Souparna Maji & Sushil Kr. Haldar, 2019. "Club Convergence among the Major Indian States During 1982–2014: Does Investment in Human Capital Matter?," South Asia Economic Journal, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, vol. 20(2), pages 184-204, September.
    5. Nicholas Apergis & Christina Christou & Stephen Miller, 2012. "Convergence patterns in financial development: evidence from club convergence," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 1011-1040, December.
    6. Maynou, Laia & Ordóñez, Javier & Silva, José Ignacio, 2022. "Convergence and determinants of young people not in employment, education or training: An European regional analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 110(C).
    7. Juan Carlos Cuestas & Mercedes Monfort & Javier Ordóñez, 2020. "Stochastic convergence in real personal disposable income in the EU," Working Papers 2020/09, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    8. Sulekha Hembram & Sushil Kr. Haldar, 2019. "Beta, sigma and club convergence: Indian experience from 1980 to 2015," Indian Economic Review, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 343-366, December.
    9. Vaseem Akram & Jabir Ali, 2021. "Output convergence at sector level across Indian states: Evidence from weak sigma and club convergence analysis," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(7), pages 1166-1188, October.
    10. Sakiru Adebola Solarin & Sinan Erdogan & Ugur Korkut Pata, 2023. "Convergence of Income Inequality in OECD Countries Since 1870: A Multi-Method Approach with Structural Changes," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 166(3), pages 601-626, April.
    11. Gustavo A. Marrero & Angel S. Marrero-Llinares & Luis Servén, 2022. "Poverty Convergence Clubs," Working Papers 619, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    12. Nazrul Islam, 2003. "What have We Learnt from the Convergence Debate?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 309-362, July.
    13. Cristina Brasili & Luciano Gutierrez, 2004. "Regional convergence across European Union," Development and Comp Systems 0402002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Elizabeth C. Wakerly & Byron G. Scott & James M. Nason, 2006. "Common trends and common cycles in Canada: who knew so much has been going on?," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 39(1), pages 320-347, February.
    15. Cem Ertur & Julie Le Gallo & Catherine Baumont, 2006. "The European Regional Convergence Process, 1980-1995: Do Spatial Regimes and Spatial Dependence Matter?," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 29(1), pages 3-34, January.
    16. Fabio Mazzola & Pietro Pizzuto, 2020. "Great Recession and club convergence in Europe: A cross‐country, cross‐region panel analysis (2000–2015)," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 676-711, June.
    17. Donald A. R. George & Les Oxley & Ken Carlaw, 2003. "Economic Growth in Transition," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 227-237, July.
    18. Haupt, Harry & Schnurbus, Joachim & Semmler, Willi, 2018. "Estimation of grouped, time-varying convergence in economic growth," Econometrics and Statistics, Elsevier, vol. 8(C), pages 141-158.
    19. Cheong, Tsun Se & Wu, Yanrui, 2013. "Regional disparity, transitional dynamics and convergence in China," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 1-14.
    20. Alka Obadić & Vladimir Arčabić & Lucija Rogić Dumančić, 2021. "Labor market institutions convergence in the European Union," EFZG Working Papers Series 2102, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb.

    More about this item


    EU integration; social cohesion; sustainability; convergence; Europe 2020;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jau:wpaper:2020/10. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: María Aurora Garcia Gallego (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.