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Estonia: Making the Most of Globalisation

  • Robert W.R. Price
  • Andreas Wörgötter

Estonia has already experienced many benefits of increasing international integration, most obviously in significant convergence. From the Russian crisis in 1998 to the great recession in 2009 Estonia gained an impressive 20% in GDP per capita relative to the EU27 average in PPPs. Like the other Baltic economies, however, a considerable part of earlier convergence gains was lost in the crisis, the impact of which was aggravated by the collapse of world trade. While this was also true for Ireland, central European countries in the process of catching up, like Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, have been less affected by the crisis and have been able to maintain most of their convergence gains. Moreover, prior to the recession Estonia’s gap in income and productivity levels compared with the EU average was still around 30% and as the country emerges from recession it faces major policy challenges to regain its pre-crisis rate of growth potential. A greater focus on closing the productivity gap in the manufacturing-for-export sector compared with other transition countries would serve as a useful and challenging benchmark in order to get more out of globalisation. Estonie : Tirer le meilleur parti de la mondialisation L'Estonie a déjà tiré grand profit du renforcement de son intégration internationale, et notamment des résultats probants obtenus en matière de convergence. Entre la crise russe de 1998 et la profonde récession de 2009, le pays a amélioré de quelque 20% - chiffre impressionnant - sa position relative, en PPA, par rapport au PIB moyen par habitant de l'UE27. Mais comme dans les autres pays baltes, une grande part des gains antérieurs liés à la convergence a fondu avec la crise, elle-même aggravée par l'effondrement du commerce mondial. Si l'Irlande a connu le même sort, des pays d'Europe centrale en plein rattrapage tels que la Pologne, la République tchèque et la République slovaque ont été moins touchés par la crise et ont pu préserver la majeure partie de leurs gains de convergence. Toutefois, l'écart entre les niveaux moyens de revenu et de productivité communautaires et estoniens avoisinait encore 30 % avant la récession ; au moment où l'Estonie sort de la crise, les pouvoirs publics se heurtent donc à des défis de taille pour maintenir le taux de croissance potentielle enregistré avant la récession. Dans la perspective de mieux exploiter la mondialisation, l'accent mis par d'autres pays en transition sur la résorption du déficit de productivité dans le secteur manufacturier exportateur pourra servir de point de repère intéressant.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 876.

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Date of creation: 21 Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:876-en
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