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Productivity and Competitiveness of the Western Balkan countries: An Analysis Based on the wiiw Western Balkan Productivity Database

Author

Listed:
  • Oliver Reiter

    () (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)

  • Monika Schwarzhappel

    () (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)

  • Robert Stehrer

    () (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)

Abstract

This policy brief provides results regarding productivity levels and dynamics in the Western Balkan countries in a comparative perspective, drawing on the newly established wiiw Western Balkan Productivity Database. The database provides time series of value added, gross output and intermediate inputs as well as labour productivity and unit labour costs, based on data collected from national statistical institutes. We present the most important indicators comparing productivity performance of the Western Balkan countries with Bulgaria and Romania (which became EU Members in 2007) and Croatia (which became an EU Member in 2013). Our results indicate that all Western Balkan countries have surpassed the level of productivity of Bulgaria in 2007 but productivity growth has stalled since the crisis. Unit labour costs growth has been low, though from a relatively high level (compared to neighbouring countries). These results make the case that advancing the EU accession process for the Western Balkan countries is both viable and necessary.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliver Reiter & Monika Schwarzhappel & Robert Stehrer, 2020. "Productivity and Competitiveness of the Western Balkan countries: An Analysis Based on the wiiw Western Balkan Productivity Database," wiiw Policy Notes 37, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  • Handle: RePEc:wii:pnotes:pn:37
    as

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    File URL: https://wiiw.ac.at/productivity-and-competitiveness-of-the-western-balkan-countries-an-analysis-based-on-the-wiiw-western-balkan-productivity-database-dlp-5340.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alexandra Bykova & Mahdi Ghodsi & Julia GrĂ¼bler & Doris Hanzl-Weiss & Mario Holzner & Gabor Hunya & Robert Stehrer, 2018. "Economic Policy Implications of the Belt and Road Initiative for CESEE and Austria," wiiw Policy Notes 23, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    2. Mario Holzner & Monika Schwarzhappel, 2018. "Infrastructure Investment in the Western Balkans: A First Analysis," wiiw Research Reports 432, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    3. Oliver Reiter & Robert Stehrer, 2018. "Trade Policies and Integration of the Western Balkans," wiiw Working Papers 148, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    4. Richard Grieveson & Julia GrĂ¼bler & Mario Holzner, 2018. "Western Balkans EU Accession: Is the 2025 Target Date Realistic?," wiiw Policy Notes 22, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Productivity; unit labour costs; Western Balkan countries; accession;

    JEL classification:

    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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