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One Europe or Several? Causes and Consequences of the European Stagnation

Author

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  • Jan Fagerberg

    (TIK, University of Oslo; IKE, Aalborg University; CIRCLE, Lund University)

  • Bart Verspagen

    (UNU-MERIT and Maastricht University)

Abstract

The European Economy is currently in a slump, the worst since the 1930s. Although this is often seen as a consequence of the financial crisis that hit the capitalist world in 2007-8, we argue that many of the problems that Europe faces today have long term roots to do with the fact that Europe consists of countries with quite different dynamics and capacities for adapting to changes in the global (and European) economic environment. We start by comparing Europe’s growth performance to that of other parts of the world, and then consider some popular but arguably erroneous explanations of the present crisis. Subsequently, we delve into the development of the external balances of various European countries. This leads to the identification of three European “archetypes”, characterized by different adaptability and performance, i.e., the North, the South and the East. We explore the consequences of globalization and European economic integration for the economic performance of these different country groups. The effects have been quite asymmetric; the Southern countries in particular have benefited little if at all. Finally, we summarise the lessons from the analysis and consider the implications for policy. What is needed is a European growth policy, properly adapted to the different capacities across Europe, that places the welfare of the European population as a whole at the center.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Fagerberg & Bart Verspagen, 2014. "One Europe or Several? Causes and Consequences of the European Stagnation," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20140410, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tik:inowpp:20140410
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fagerberg, Jan, 1994. "Technology and International Differences in Growth Rates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1147-1175, September.
    2. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(2), pages 385-406, June.
    3. Jarle Hildrum & Dieter Ernst & Jan Fagerberg, 2011. "The Complex Interaction between Global Production Networks, Digital Information Systems and International Knowledge Transfers," Chapters, in: Cristiano Antonelli (ed.), Handbook on the Economic Complexity of Technological Change, chapter 16, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Johnson, Robert C. & Noguera, Guillermo, 2012. "Accounting for intermediates: Production sharing and trade in value added," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 224-236.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bolea, Lucía & Duarte, Rosa & Hewings, Geoffrey J.D. & Sánchez-Chóliz, Julio, 2021. "Disintegration scenarios in the European Union: A case study of Eastern European economies," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 1-12.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System

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