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Enhancing Income Convergence in Central Europe after EU Accession

  • Patrick Lenain
  • Łukasz Rawdanowicz

After nearly fifteen years of transition, the countries of Central Europe have entered the European Union on 1 May 2004. For the four countries that are members of the OECD (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovak Republic), accession follows multiyear efforts of economic stabilisation and structural transformation, which have brought them large benefits. Although convergence towards higher levels of income appears to be a distant prospect at current trend growth rates, this is not a predetermined outcome. The experience of prior entrants suggests that much leeway is available within the framework of the European Union to undertake pro-growth policies. The most promising prospect in this respect appears to reside with employment creation, which has been so far lacking and led to a rather imbalanced pattern of growth. Bringing down labour taxes, easing employment protection legislation and reducing out-of-work benefits would make important contributions in this respect. While ... Renforcer la convergence des revenus en Europe Centrale après les adhesions à l'Union européenne Le 1er mai 2004, après presque quinze années de transition, les pays d’Europe centrale sont entrés dans l’Union européenne. Pour les quatre pays accédants qui sont Membres de l’OCDE (Hongrie, Pologne, République slovaque et République tchèque), l’adhésion couronne plusieurs années d’efforts de stabilisation économique et de transformation structurelle qui leur ont été très profitables. Même si la convergence vers des niveaux de revenu plus élevés semble une perspective lointaine aux taux de croissance actuels, l’issue n’est pas pour autant déterminée d’avance. L’expérience des précédents entrants donne à penser que le cadre de l’Union européenne offre une grande marge d’action pour engager des politiques favorables à la croissance. La voie la plus prometteuse à cet égard semble être la creation d’emplois, qui a été jusqu’ici insuffisante et qui a engendré un profil de croissance assez déséquilibré. L’allégement de la fiscalité du travail, l’assouplissement de la législation sur la ...

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 392.

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Date of creation: 16 Jun 2004
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:392-en
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