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Drivers of convergence in eleven eastern European countries

  • Cuaresma, Jesus Crespo
  • Oberhofer, Harald
  • Smits, Karlis
  • Vincelette, Gallina A

This paper investigates the drivers of growth and prosperity in a group of eleven European countries -- Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Slovakia (the EU11). Since the EU11 began the transformation process, this group of emerging countries has made impressive strides as developing market economies and is anchoring development in European Union institutions. There are reasons to believe that the convergence of EU11 income per capita to Western European levels will continue, but will proceed more slowly. The paper concludes that trade and financial integration have sped along at a spectacular pace in the EU11 in the recent past, although trade in modern services and the integration of government bond and equity markets are somewhat behind. As in the rest of Europe, demographic developments will pose huge challenges for the sustainability of public finance in the EU11 economies. In the next several decades, the EU11 labor force is expected to contract more than labor forces in the rest of the European Union, making it even more urgent that countries in the region reform pension systems, change migration policy, and find incentives to attract talent to the region. Closing the gap with the rest of the European Union in educational attainment levels and improving education quality might significantly soften the constraints imposed by the demographic threats and produce sizable returns in terms of additional income convergence.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6185.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6185
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  1. Ilke Van Beveren, 2007. "Total factor productivity estimation: A practical review," LICOS Discussion Papers 18207, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  2. Rita Almeida, 2004. "The labor market effects of foreign-owned firms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3300, The World Bank.
  3. Karin Mayr & Giovanni Peri, 2009. "Brain drain and Brain Return: Theory and Application to Eastern-Western Europe," Vienna Economics Papers 0907, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  4. Massimo Del Gatto & Adriana Di Liberto & Carmelo Petraglia, 2011. "Measuring Productivity," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(5), pages 952-1008, December.
  5. Jesús Crespo Cuaresma & Martin Feldkircher, 2010. "Spatial Filtering, Model Uncertainty and the Speed of Income Convergence in Europe," Working Papers 160, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  6. Torfinn Harding, Torfinn; Javorcik, Beata S., 2010. "Roll out the Red Carpet and They Will Come: Investment Promotion and FDI Inflows," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 18, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  7. World Bank, 2009. "Pensions in Crisis : Europe and Central Asia Regional Policy Note," World Bank Other Operational Studies 18728, The World Bank.
  8. Anna Iara, 2006. "Skill Diffusion by Temporary Migration? Returns to Western European Working Experience in the EU Accession Countries," Development Working Papers 210, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  9. Jesús Crespo Cuaresma & Gernot Doppelhofer & Martin Feldkircher, 2009. "Economic Growth Determinants for European Regions: Is Central and Eastern Europe Different?," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 3, pages 22-37.
  10. Samir KC & Bilal Barakat & Anne Goujon & Vegard Skirbekk & Warren C. Sanderson & Wolfgang Lutz, 2010. "Projection of populations by level of educational attainment, age, and sex for 120 countries for 2005-2050," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 22(15), pages 383-472, March.
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