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The Convergence Processes in Europe and Latvia

Author

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  • Aleksejs Melihovs

    (Bank of Latvia)

  • Igors Kasjanovs

    (Bank of Latvia)

Abstract

This paper, attempting to tackle separately real and structural convergence, is an in-depth study of the convergence processes in Latvia and Europe. Latvia's structural convergence towards both the EU and other neighbouring (Baltic) countries is estimated using the Krugman index. Real convergence processes in the EU, distinguishing between ? convergence and beta convergence, are likewise studied. In addition, cluster analysis with grouping European countries by their structural features is conducted. In this study, the current beta convergence and sigma convergence processes within the EU are identified, yet an in-depth study disclosed that it was mostly the EU12 countries that were the convergence process drivers, with convergence at the regional level well behind that at the national level. The convergence among the EU Member States primarily depended on the wealthier regions of countries becoming richer (characteristic of EU12 in particular), with the process proceeding at a faster pace in relatively poorer countries. This suggests that within a country the discrepancies between rich and poor regions intensify over time. That leads to a conclusion that the European regional policy aimed at decreasing regional income heterogeneity did not prove efficient in the reference period. Structural convergence in Latvia was mainly observed in 2008 and 2009, i.e. the years of real divergence enhanced by the onset of the crisis. Structural convergence in the breakdown of gross value added was mainly driven by the fluctuations of the value added ratio of trade, tourism and transport, manufacturing and construction sector. The conducted cluster analysis demonstrates that over time European countries have become more homogenous or mutually similar in terms of economic structure. A particular focus on the specific economic characteristics of countries leads to a different conclusion: the countries in Europe agglomerated into several specific groups, thus clearly outlining the different drivers of growth in the post-crisis period.

Suggested Citation

  • Aleksejs Melihovs & Igors Kasjanovs, 2011. "The Convergence Processes in Europe and Latvia," Discussion Papers 2011/01, Latvijas Banka.
  • Handle: RePEc:ltv:dpaper:201101
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    Cited by:

    1. Smirnykh, Larisa & Woergoetter, Andreas, 2021. "Regional convergence in CEE before and after the Global Financial Crisis," IHS Working Paper Series 33, Institute for Advanced Studies.
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    3. Catalina MOTOFEI, 2017. "Sectorial evolutions in former communist economies, current EU members," The Audit Financiar journal, Chamber of Financial Auditors of Romania, vol. 15(146), pages 266-266.
    4. Mihnenoka Aleksandra & Senfelde Maija, 2017. "the impact of national economy structural transformation on regional employment and income: the case of Latvia," South East European Journal of Economics and Business, Sciendo, vol. 12(2), pages 47-60, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Latvia; the EU; structural convergence; real convergence; specialisation; cluster analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C20 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - General
    • C50 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - General
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General

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