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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 ...

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Lenain & Łukasz Rawdanowicz, 2004. "Enhancing Income Convergence in Central Europe after EU Accession," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 392, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:392-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Witold Orlowski, 2011. "Post-accession economic development of Poland," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 2, pages 7-20, December.
    2. Michał Brzoza-Brzezina, 2006. "The information content of the neutral rate of interest," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 14(2), pages 391-412, April.
    3. Martin Bijsterbosch & Marcin Kolasa, 2010. "FDI and productivity convergence in Central and Eastern Europe: an industry-level investigation," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(4), pages 689-712, January.
    4. Hart, Jarret, 2013. "Impact of Trade Openness on Technical Efficiency: Agricultural Sector of the European Union," Proceedings Issues, 2013: Employment, Immigration and Trade, December 15-17, 2013, Clearwater Beach, Florida 182500, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    5. Marek Dabrowski, 2005. "A Strategy for EMU Enlargement," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0290, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.

    More about this item


    accession; accession; catching-up; Central Europe; convergence; convergence; croissance de la productivité; croissance économique; Czech Republic; diffusion de l'innovation; diffusion of innovation; economic growth; European Union; Hongrie; Hungary; labour utilisation; Poland; Pologne; productivity growth; rattrapage; République slovaque; République tchèque; Slovak Republic; transition; transition; Union européenne; utilisation du travail;

    JEL classification:

    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • P31 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Socialist Enterprises and Their Transitions

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